Sunday, October 26, 2014

More Naval Games, More Foolish Spending

September and October have not been thrifty months for me. I bought a big pile of lead (modern and 15mm sci-fi) and a bunch of books and rules.

First up, is the computer game Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations by Warfare

I've never been much of a computer gamer. First-person shoot 'em ups just don't appeal to me, no matter how fantastic the graphics are. Back in the 90s, I played Doom, Ultima, Diablo, and Mythic, mainly because my friends in grad school did. The only game I really liked was the Civilization series.

So, why this one? One of my problems is finding a reasonable set of rules for modern naval gaming for my Chalupastan War campaign. I read about this game on the War Is Boring website.  The author used this game to simulate a battle between China and the Philippines over some island in the China Sea. The thing I liked about it when I looked into the game is that you can design your own scenarios, and modify ships, seemingly to the point of building your own ships. The price is a little steep ($95), but having recently been promoted to full professor, I felt I could splurge.  The game claims that you don't have to micromanage things, but the one practice game I did play, I felt like I was doing so. In the space of maybe two hours in game time, my Spruance-class destroyer was badly knocked out of commission and I had no idea if I had hit the practice target with my cruise missiles. To be fair, I have not played since then due to a lack of time, but even if I do get the time, I think its going to be a while before I start tinkering with the ships and making my own scenarios to fit my fictional campaign.

Next is the 1987 edition of Harpoon Modern Naval Wargame Rules by Larry Bond.

In an earlier post, I bought and had a cursory review the most recent version of Harpoon (4th edition). While it is very detailed, It seems overwhelming to play, especially if I dare play it solo.  Recently on TMP, someone ran a Falklands game using the 1987 version and the comments were that is much more playable than this most recent one. My used copy of it came in the mail today, so I can't say anything about it. Besides being the older edition, I wanted to compare it to other games that I already own just as Shipwreck. Bulldogs Away!, and Surface Battle Group. There are some things like in these other rules that I like better than in 4th ed. Harpoon, but there are some aspects in each I don't care for.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Royal Chalupastan Airforce Part 2: Helicopters

The title is a misnomer. Helicopters are not under Southern Chalupastan's airforce, but rather the army. But I thought I'd keep a running theme in the title, so shoot me.

The South witnessed what helicopters could accomplish not only during the Vietnam War, but during the First Chalupastan War. The North's successful invasion of the South included the capturing of key roads and towns with airborne troops. During the big, post-war, military rebulding program, the South received help from the USA to put together several airborne battalions that employed helicopters. They also bought several attack helicopters from South Africa to be used against any further aggression by the North.

Although they have not been tested against the North, the airborne units have been used extensively to battle against various rebel groups. This includes several clandestine operations just over the border in Northern Chalupistan. 

Bell UH-1 Huey
CinC Huey
GHQ Huey
Heroics & Ros Huey
The UH-1 is the work horse of the helicopter fleet. Many are former veterans of the Vietnam War transferred from the USA. They are meticulously maintained. Their primary function is to carry troops into combat situations and evacuate the wounded. From a modelling perspective, the rotor assembly on the C in C models were next to impossible to put together, so I made them out of scratch. 

CH-47 Chinook
GHQ Chinook
In addition to the Hueys, the South operates the Chinook heavy lift helicopter. They, too, are used for dropping off troops, but also for airlifting supplies. The GHQ model was a recent purchase. It was pretty easy to assemble. The widows are pretty small, so I put a dot of light blue paint in the middle of them to make them stand out more. I still need to glue on its magnet and have not decided whether or not to give it a black wash.

Denel Rooivalk
Heroics & Ros Rooivalk
Front view
Fearing another armored invasion by the North, the Army ordered a number of Rooivalk attack helicopters from South Africa. They are armed with a 20mm cannon and anti-tank guided missiles, but can be fitted with rocket pods. They have been used only occasionally to fight the rebels. The Army feels that they are too valuable and fears that will be shot down. This is a pretty nice model. The weapons payload went together better than I expected. Sorry about the bent rotors. I didn't realize how bent up they were until after I took the pictures. In reality, there weren't that many Rooivalks built (according to Wikipedia), but I figured that Chalupastan's order spurred production on.