Monday gaming post

By Mick Rood

Hello and welcome to the Sturm Uber……………. Blog, a periodical visit to the Flames of War tournaments held at Maelstrom games in Mansfield and strongly supported by Arcane scenary through providing prizes such as the MDF buildings in our range and particularly the popular Zvesda 1/100 vehicles from the ‘Art of Tactic’ game. Not specifically intended for Flames of War but the scale of the vehicles and aircraft is perfect for the game. Sadly, the infantry being at 1/72nd scale aren’t appropriate, unless of course you play FOW at that scale. Just in case you didn’t know Flames of War covers WWII battles mainly intended for 15mm scale but playable in most scales although probably a bit unsuitable for 28mm where more skirmish/squad level rules would be appropriate. The Flames of War ruleset is supported by the vast Battlefront range of figures and army books covering a large part of the 1939-1945 conflict, the book and figure releases come hard and fast.

Sturm Uber………….was originally set up by the lads at Maelstrom when they supported the Battlefront range but some trade differences meant that stopped temporarily. Whilst Maelstrom had a business difference they knew FOW was very popular amongst its club members and wished the players should continue. They invited Myself and Tommy Brown, regular ‘Flames’ players, to maintain their FOW competitions on their calendar. So the ‘ReluctantConscripts’ were born and our first venture was Sturm Uber Europa set in the Mid War (1942-1943) period covering the War in Russia, Western Desert, Tunisia and Early Italy/Sicily.

Considering the theatres and terrain is a considerable part of the pleasure of Flames of War. It has simple but comprehensive and effective terrain rules that allows players to enjoy good detailed terrain without loss of playabilty. Potentially a competitor can find themselves on the open desert or in the claustrophobic horror of Stalingrad. The ideal, of course, is to have the right mix of opponent in the right theatre but competitions tend to spread history somewhat so that isn’t guaranteed.

Sturm Uber Europa in June 2011 was Mine and Tommy’s first joint effort and our aims were to maintain the quality of the Maelstrom events and appeal to the wide competition circuit. Saturday morning saw 30+ players landed at Maelstrom for the weekend and 5 full games. The day always starts with briefing and doughnuts as the draw is concluded. It is always the intention not to have, so called, ‘Blue on Blue’ games where you play the same nationality as yourself. The quirks of army choice don’t always mean a perfect balance but the lads feel that the best enjoyment comes out of historical faceoffs where the uniqueness of each nation/force is brought to the fore. Flames of War cleverly brings out the traits of each nations fighting style, this is further enhanced with particular unit traits.

Maelstrom sorted out the food for us with their expanding kitchen facilities and looked after the drinks side with the very busy bar. I would like to add in a thank you to Maelstrom at this point, not only is the venue excellent for this type of event, the staff on food, at the bar and in the shop are always there to help with Gary Moore and all of them working their b**ts off to look after us.

The event includes awards for best sportsman and best painted army, the competition for these prizes was very close and shows the ethos of most players to make the experience enjoyable for BOTH players. The painting standards were excellent and the skills of all the entrants to be admired. We don’t allow unpainted/unrepresentative figures except in the most exceptional circumstances. Take some time to check the pics of the various forces.

Fierce fighting ensued and here are pictures of some of the excellent armies showcased at Sturm Uber Europa.

Strum Uber Deutschland.

November saw the second outing and Sturm Uber Deutschland continued the WWII story covering the Late War (Late 1943, 1944) with terrain for Normandy, Italy, Russia and Poland. Although this period of the war saw vast distances quickly covered, the hardest fighting had bogged down into city ruins, Normandy bocage and Italian hills and vineyards. The big breakthroughs often came after weeks of gruelling fighting. This can produce some fantastic terrain where the detail is increased as the terrain closed down for these bitter fights.

Sturm Uber Deutschland saw an increased turnout and once again the sponsors had been very generous allowing us to give prizes and a free raffle so that everyone left with something.

Once again, Gary and the Maelstrom crew excelled themselves.

So that was the Sturm Uber series in 2011. We will repeat the June and November events as Mid War and Late War but will start the series in March with Sturm Uber Dunkirchen. The first Early War competition to be run by the Reluctant Conscripts and at Maelstrom


36 Players from all over the UK journeyed to Mansfield to take part in our latest Early War event. It was a great weekend, great players, great atmosphere and great food. This was our swansong to version 2 of the Flames of War rules and it saw us out in great style. We had Polish cavalry demolishing artillery parks, trains chugging up and down tracks, hordes of Italian & British tanks and the surgical strike force of the German Heer.
Steve Charlton won not only Best General but also Best Painted Axis army with his lovely grey panzers. Kevin Brewin won Best Axis General and Jez Evans won Best Allied General. Ian Mann ran away with Most Sporting while Mark Mainwaring won Best Painted Allied and Richard Heath deservedly won Best Play Provided Table with his Warsaw board including poster booths and cars.


Shown above and below are road sets provided for us by Arcane Scenery and they also stock the river shown and the buildings below, manufactured by Sarissa Precision…

The Panzers batter the Allied defence lines

Richard Heath’s fantastic Warsaw city scape


Monday Models

So we have a couple of projects we’d like to mention. That aren’t Arcane projects.

Firstly Kevin Hill from Texas again, with his Western town layout.

Kevin apparently feels he shouldn’t have painted this in that Cola red, because it looks a bit too barn like, but I rather like it. He made the hay bales using a paper cup and glue.

We’d also like to direct you toward something that we found on the internet, not one of our customers, heck we don’t even know the chap. Though we’d quite like to, because we are incredibly impressed. Curos is a modeller based in southern Spain, in Badajos, who has some AMAZING dioramas of Trafalgar and the Peninsula War. We love those ships. They are beautiful. You should take a look at both sites. Be amazed people.

Friday round up

This week’s entry is brought to you to the sound of trashy FM, so if lyrics from what my mother still insists on calling ‘The Hit Parade’ creep in, my apologies.

After a bit of a delay we now have Conflix, Pegasus and Emhar stocks coming in. HOWEVER, the supplier themselves are awaiting imports and these are due in May.

On a similar vein, but we actually have these. Tauro. Yes Tauro AV7s and Fiats. We have them. After two years. No I really did say 2 years. I think they made the poor little tanks come by their own power frankly. But we have them, at last. I’d grab one while you can frankly.

Another back in stock is the Tamiya…*deep breath* …Schwerer Zugkraftwagen 18t und Tielfladeanhänger für PzKpFw Sd Ah 116…which is a bit of a mouthful even by German standards. For those not familiar with lengthy Germanic words it is a half track with transporter. It doesn’t come with the tank though. It makes a very large model which even if not used in game will certainly intimidate any visitors to the house. It is one of several LARGE kits we sell all of whom are fit to intimidate any window sales dude who might foolishly decide to enter your abode.

Finally we have increased our Vallejo range to include new textures, colours and accessories.

Woo, managed the whole post with no Jessie J lyrics creeping in

Mondays Rule

Continuing the Friday round up we have more new and shiny things…

For Saga we have the Northern Fury supplement with four new battleboards-Scots, Anglo-Saxons, Bretons and the rather bemusingly named Jomsvikings. If the Viking sorts take your fancy you might like to consider our special offer of Vikings and ship

Firefight is a new skirmish rules set, primarily designed for larger scale (1/32, 1/35) which uses only a few figures, and thus is ideal if you are just dipping your toes into World War 2 or bigger models. And and and…if you are just trying out we have the ideal set for you. The Firefight rules plus Airfix US and German figures, and the dice all together, an Arcane Scenery exclusive. All set to go in mere minutes.

And finally in the new rules theme something a tad more modern Day of the Rangers: Somalia 1993.

We’d love to know how you get along with these rule sets and it would be great to have some of your battle reports here on the blog!

Friday Round Up

First of all apologies for the sparse nature of this round up. I am typing one handed (no, no) which is rather tedious…

We have lots of North Star including, for those with luggage needs, porters, Ila warriors, Matabele warriors. They go well with the Wazunga hunters, and are great for dioramas as well as gaming!

The Ila (or BaIla) are a tribe based in South Central Africa, what is now Zambia. They were fierce warrior herdsmen in the 19th Century, powerful enough to fight off Matabele cattle raids and Arab slave raids. Their distinct tall hair-style was fashioned so that tribal members could see each other moving through the tall grass of the Kafue Flats.

Get them fast though! They’re going fast!

New in our MDF building range we have Adobe Church and Canteena. Ideal for Western and Texian scenarios and the Old West range figures.

In our Future History range we have more Mantic Corporation figures. Great for all science fiction genre games, including something beginning with G and W…

So that your figures need not get separated in the heat of battle we now have resin regiment bases and objective markers…do check out the 104 bases we have.

And finally (ish) for WWII fans we have 15mm Plastic Soldier’s Russian heavy weapons tank, from Valiant some 1/72 paratroopers and from Airfix the Chi Ha.

We are going to bring you more new things on Monday! Yes a second round up…you are lucky lucky beings!





Hussar Part 3 [Now with Words!]

This is the painting hussars part three and its just to bring you up to date with the finished models. When we left them the model was completely base coated, and block coated and I had mounted the figure on his horse, which I had previously painted.

We will go over painting horses at some future date, as it is still a mystery to me though I am improving.

So we have a nicely finished block painted Hussar ready to go on his horse and the first thing we need to do is use some quickshade on him. I used the dark tone, which is the black quick shade, and I don’t dip the figure as the instructions say instead I paint it. Painting the dip over the figure allows me a certain amount of control, and it means that you make sure that everything get covered nicely and don’t end up flicking quickshade down my garden, as the instructions suggest. It does make me feel in control; like I am painting it rather than just dipping it in a tin and forgetting it.

Once the figure has been painted with dip and let to dry I check it. Though I do look to check the quickshade is going in the right place, the one thing is that you don’t really know until its dry, where it will go. So you have to let it settle and go in all the creases.

Once they were dry (I let the it dry at least overnight and there is an argument to let it dry longer), and then it is time to matt the figure down. The initial appearance after quickshade is “oh no I have ruined my model”, you haven’t! Carry on with the process and the next stage of the process is to use the army painter matt spray to matt the figure again. Matt varnish can be very temperamental so do make sure to shake it very very well; a good five minutes or so. I have never had a problem over shaking, but I have ruined by under shaking, and then do a quick test spray on a piece of card. This is because if you are like me and have a number of spray cans on your shelf then its so easy to pick up the wrong can, and I have heard of so many people who have sprayed their beautiful models silver…

I spray from around 20cm away in pulses, not a blast, I’d rather go back and respray rather than have it fog and mist.


The one other thing I will do is take the matt white and go back over any white that had been too dirtied down such as the fur on pelise and tuft on front of the bearskins. Also on the sword paint the edges in a nice bright silver, which gives the sword a nice shiny edge.


He is then mounted on his horse, and based.


The basing technique I use is to first of all paint base in chocolate brown or Vallejo black brown, then cover in PVA and use Arcane Scenery Forest Scatter. This gives you earth colour to start with. Then I use Army Painter tufts, and I have a thing for the meadow tufts, and on some of the bases I have used some Highland ones too. And finally some static grass, and for this I used Expo

flowered field which is a nice bright green. The basing doesn’t take too long and gives a nice effect.


On a couple of the figures I decided to go back and paint the eyes. One of the beauties of quickshade is that it can bring our the features of the faces, unfortunately sometimes this makes them look rather zombie like, so I went back and painted the eyes. Which even at this scale is an art in itself, and you may notice on if my men has rather staring eyes…


They were taken to the table last week in Sharp practice, where they managed to flank very nicely. Unfortunately a French counter charge left them under the charge of the cannon that they were attempting to charge. So not the most glorious start to their career but I hope it will improve!

Good Friday Egg Up

What are you doing here? Those chocolate eggs aren’t going to eat themselves you know.

Any orders placed over the weekend will be sorted out as soon as everyone gets back into the office. Which should be Tuesday, baring any Easter egg overdoses. However, the postal services of both the UK and the bits of the world that celebrate Easter are not always up straight, so do keep this in mind when awaiting your goodies.

So back to the food people. And in the mean time here’s some hot cross guns


And for some awesome future history reading over your weekend may I recommend this from io9. Go forth eat chocolate, ruin the diet and come back next week soldier ready to work that army. Dismissed!