Category: Country

I am fascinated by military history and in particular the history of Spain and Portugal. But with my connections to New Zealand and Israel I’ve also acquired an interest in the wars of those nations as well.


Paper Factory – A Crossfire Battle Report from Krasny Bor

KB1R-004 Table

Jamie Wish and Chris Harrod played “Paper Factory” (KB1R), the second game of Krasny Bor, featuring the Blue Division in an epic Crossfire campaign. The Spaniards were defending the Paper Factory, in a loop of the Ishora River, against overwhelming odds. Jamie’s Soviets captured all three objectives and won.

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Advance from Ian Ishora – A Crossfire Battle Report from Krasny Bor

KB1F-05 Table

Jamie Wish and Chris Harrod played “Advance from Ian Ishora” (KB1F), the first game of my Krasny Bor Campaign featuring the Blue Division defending against overwhelming odds in an epic Crossfire campaign.

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Playing the Krasny Bor Crossfire Campaign with two players

Krasny Bor Campaign - Two Players

At the end of last year Jo asked if I had ever revisited my Krasny Bor Campaign for Crossfire and the Blue Division. Sadly the answer was no, but it prompted me to rectify the lapse.

I have persuaded Chris Harrod and Jamie Wish to play the campaign. This was a bit different: two players not eight; two months not two days. Here is some advice for anybody who wants to give it a go.

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Water Party – Scenario Design Experiment for Crossfire and Fogo Cruzado

PCWW-14 More insurgents

Immediately following our successful experiment on Ambush scenarios for the Portuguese Colonial War, Jamie Wish and I tried another type of scenario. The goal of our second game was to defend a water party, which is an idea from FNG of Two Hour Wargames. Of course, our version of the scenario was for Crossfire and my Fogo Cruzado variant.

As a scenario design experiment, this one failed in a pretty spectacular fashion. But maybe I’m biased because Jamie won, and very quickly. 😉 Anyway, the good news is that we learnt a few things.

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African Ambush – Scenario Design Experiment for Crossfire and Fogo Cruzado

PCWA07 Portuguese patrol entering village

I’m in the process of writing a solo campaign for Portuguese Colonial War called “African Tour”. This process has been dragging on for years. Instead of sitting with my computer imagining what might make a good game, I decided to experiment with some of my ideas. So I invited Jamie Wish over, we got out my (previously unused) figures and tried an ambush scenario for Crossfire and my Fogo Cruzado variant.

Despite the scenario design misgivings I had before we started, it was actually a pretty good game. Exciting and novel.

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454 AD Roman versus Suevi – A One Hour Wargames Battle Report

454AD-16 Crunch time

The sixth game in our Fall of Hispania Campaign occurred in 454 AD, 6 game years after the last battle. In fact we played both games in one evening using the Dark Age variant of Neil Thomas’s One Hour Wargames. Chris Harrod rolled Roman and I got Suevi.

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448 AD Roman versus Visigoth – A One Hour Wargames Battle Report

448AD-07 Charge

Chris Harrod came over and we played two games of our Fall of Hispania Campaign. The first battle occurred in 448 AD, 2 game years after the last battle. Chris rolled Roman and I got Visigoth.

I had intended to use Basic Impetus, and even revised the army lists to do this, but we ended up using the Dark Age variant of Neil Thomas’s One Hour Wargames instead. Both armies had six units and we used first Pitched Battle scenario. And we played on a 2’x2′ table as per using my big bases with One Hour Wargames.

The

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Tactical Air Support (TacAir) and Helicopters for Fogo Cruzado / Crossfire

The following rules cover both Tactical Air Support (TacAir) and helicopter support in Fogo Cruzado, my variant of Crossfire for the Portuguese Colonial War. Only the Portuguese can use aircraft. Air support may be detailed as part of a scenario and/or requested during the course of a game. I admit these rules are a bit rough.

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15/18mm 1st Carlist War Range from Capitan Games

Fantassin Carlist Infantry

About 15-20 years ago a Spanish Wargaming company called Fantassin Minaturas produced a range of 15/18mm figures for the First Carlist War. The company subsequently became War Modelling and a couple of years ago kind of evaporated. Now the War Modelling figures are available from Capitan Games including the 15mm Carlist Wars range. I wanted one place where I could see a list of the entire range. Particularly as Capitan Games have a 10% discount to celebrate relaunching the range.

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WW2 Painting Guide: Kiwi and British in the Mediterranean

A group of New Zealand soldiers on the Cassino battlefront in Italy, during World War II. Probably reconstruction for photographers behind the line. 5 April 1944

This WW2 Painting Guide shows how to paint the 2 New Zealand Division, and other Commonwealth/British, who fought in the Mediterranean. It solely uses Vallejo Model Colour range of paints.

I have used four sources: Battle Front, SHQ, Artizan Designs, and Crac des Chevaliers.

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Steven’s Caçadores for the Portuguese Colonial War

Caçadores Combat Group 1 - Close Up

The Portuguese Light Infantry (Caçadores) were the mainstay of the government forces in the Portuguese Colonial War. Unfortunately their quality varied enormously with the ability of the officers largely influencing the quality of the troops. Both infantry and artillery were organised into temporary Caçadore battalions for service in Africa. Must have been a shock for the specialists who suddenly became riflemen. So far I have a single combat group (i.e. platoon) of Caçadores. More will come.

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Steven’s Special Group for the Portuguese Colonial War

Special Group – Close Up

The Special Groups (Grupos Especiais or GE) were African para-military formations raised in Angola and Mozambique during the Portuguese Colonial War. They had a distinctive black uniform with a colourful beret. The GE were so successful that, in Mozambique, the Portuguese recruited a battalion of Paratrooper Special Groups (Grupos Especiais Pára-quedistas or GEP) from the GE. I have one unit that, with yellow berets, can do double duty as a GE or GEP combat group.

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Flight Plan Africa – Portuguese Airpower in Counterinsurgency, 1961-1974

T-6G Harvard, Cufar, Guine

John Cann published “Flight Plan Africa” in 2015. If you are interested in Airpower in Counterinsurgency, particularly the Portuguese experiences in 1961-1974, then get this book. I’ve taken a few notes, mostly quotes of bits I found interesting. To liven it up a bit I’ve included photos from other sources.

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Steven’s Commandos for the Portuguese Colonial War

Portuguese Commando Combat Group 01 Close Up

I have blogged before about my figures for the Portuguese Colonial War but they were on on individual bases. Now I have rebased for Fogo Cruzado – my period specific variant of Crossfire. That means each base is a fire team. I had to expand the numbers considerably. This week features my commando combat group.

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Moroccan Knives – A Crossfire Battle Report 2

Moroccan Knives Table

Jamie Wish and I played my Moroccan Knives scenario set in the Spanish Civil War. Jamie started work at 05:00 hours the next morning so we wanted something quick. This scenario is guaranteed to take less than two hours so was a good candidate. It was a bit one sided and I’ve suggested a couple of changes.

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