Chain of Command: Commandos for Operation Aubery

I think it's fair to say that as a scale, 15mm has had me flummoxed.  Completely and utterly.  I had a lot of fun getting them ready for Chain of Command, but a completely different experience when it came to painting them.  Having never done anything in a smaller scale before, I soon found that whilst I may consider myself a good painter of 28mm miniatures, I completely suck at 15mm.  And when I tried a tank, well, let's just say I'm, not very good at judging things like shading, highlighting and detailing in 15mm. I much prefer the detail and character of 28mm models. My inability to paint something smaller isn't something I'm proud of, but there it is.  Now it wasn't as bad as this lot, but the following clip pretty much explains how I was feeling at this point!

Anyway, in all seriousness, this was a difficult time.  I hadn't realised until this point how much I wanted to do some serious WWII wargaming.  Nor had I realised how much I was wanting to game Chain of Command.  It's not until the option is taken away from you that you realise how important it is to you.  

Yes, I know that I have Perry's DAK and British 8th awaiting assembly.  The only reason I haven't rushed headlong into this is that I don't have any desert boards to game with them.  And as I like my basing material to match my gaming surface, this remains tantalisingly out of reach at the moment.  

This is why I decided to use my 15mm models in the first place.  I would be able to use them on my green boards.  Although I knew I would have to make new road sections.  And buildings.  And pretty much every bit of scenery from scratch.  
At which point I remembered my poor Warlord Games Commandos.  I had purchased them when they released the first edition of Bolt Action.  I had begun to assemble some of them.
But with army lists that allowed you to do petty much whatever you wanted (including how to best arm your troops) I didn't get very far.  I was rapidly becoming confused and bewildered by the volume of SMG armed troops you were allowed.  So I stopped assembling them.

Well, digging them out has been a revelation.  Thanks to some good friends in SocialMediaLand I was led to a fantastic army list for Operation Aubrey which you can find for yourself right here!  I had purchased two packs of Warlord Games' Commandos, so I knew I would have more than enough models for the game.
I was delighted to get started with making a proper force. And over the course of the last week, I've been working away at the models and even making a new purchase to bring this heroic force to the tabletop.
Here are both sections from the list.
 These twelve-men sections are made up with a Rifle Team (the six men in the background) and, from left to right in the foreground) a Superior Junior Leader with SMG, Sniper and an LMG team.  This consists of a Junior Leader with SMG and three men with rifles and a Bren.
 And here's my second section.
 As you can see, those I assembled years ago had some detailing to their bases.  I had used some plasticard textured with cobblestones.  I had cut some sprue frame into bricks and applied some of my base mix.  Of course, back then it was in its infancy.  I referred to it as my rubble mix.  It consisted of about 70% ballast and 30% sand.  Now I use a general bae mix which consists of about 70% sand, 20% ballast and 10% cork chippings.  I use it across all my bases and gaming periods.  I'll be using this on all the remaining bases and the empty parts of the old bases.  Back then I used to just apply my flock directly to the base.  Not anymore.  I prefer a more uneven surface.
 I was really grateful to everyone on the Chain of Command Facebook group who answered my questions over the last week.  One key question was about base sizes for my leaders.  Should I make them bigger, or should I colour code them?  Some suggested smaller bases for the leaders which was a new idea to me.  In the end, I decided to keep my junior leaders on 25mm diameter bases, the same sie as the troops.  I would mount my Senior leaders on 30mm diameter bases.  I plan to paint the rim of my bases with different colours to identify them.  My Rifle Teams will have my preferred colour of choice, black.  My LMG team will b painted a mid-brown (no doubt English Uniform).  My Junior Leaders will be painted green.
 And my senior leaders?  Not sure yet.  I think their bigger bases will do enough to make them stand out.  I may just leave them black.  Here's my two.  On the left, we have Lord Lovat, and on the right Brigadier Peter Young.  Yes, yes, I know there much higher up the chain of command, but I purchased the set years ago and blast it, I want to use them!  Besides, perhaps the good Brigadier's sterling work on creating the hobby we enjoy so much will bring a change of fortune to my dice rolling skills.  One can but hope!
 And as I have so many extra models, I present my List Two supports.  On the left my 2" mortar.  And on the right, my PIAT team.
Back in the day I also purchased a Vickers MMG team.  Although they're not in the Operation Aubrey list, its author, Stephen Philp said it was perfectly fine to use one as a List Three support.  So I did.  On a 60mm base.  With the other two team members on individual bases.  I had thought about making sure each one was based individually, but I couldn't find a basing system that would work.  of course, I haven't glued the metal troops to the base yet.  I need to keep them all separate for painting first.
 And here's my List Five support consisting of two Vickers K LMG teams.  I purchased these from Arcane Scenery via eBay.  Their delivery was nothing short of lightning speed.  For the first time in my wargaming history, they were assembled within an hour of tier arrival through my letterbox.

I was also very pleasantly surprised to see that they came supplied with bases in the blister.  And they were protected by a foam insert.  This was not the case when I purchased my other metal blisters back in the day, so a big thumbs up to warlord for this.  They are also those nice lipped bases.  I've become rather fond of them after getting a set for my British Napoleonics for Sharp Practice 2, but that's a different story entirely!
 Here's my Forward Observer in more detail.  In the list I had whilst assembling him, I was working off an earlier draft where he's part of a section with the Vickers K teams.  He's now a List Three choice on his own.  Aas before, he will direct a 3" mortar battery that is obviously off the table. I made a map for him out of a small piece of folded plasticard.

of course, this change now means that I will need a Junior leader for my List Five Vickers K teams.  Not a problem though, as I have a solitary leader with SMG already assembled from back in the good old days.  It's quite nice to be able to give him a home in the force!
Right, I'm off to add some base mix now.  Then I need to figure out what I'm going to do for Jump Off Point markers.  I have a feeling Bill Mullin will need to make an appearance!

As always, thanks for stopping by!


Popular Posts