07 December 2014

Turkish Quarter WIP

Among the basic building boxes I created recently was this large flat-topped building.  At the time of construction, I wasn't sure whether it would be a large 20mm scale building for Andreivia or a small 28mm building for Pavis.

In the end I've decided it's to be a concrete structure used as a small vehicle repair shop somewhere in the Turkish Quarter of Tcherbevan (or perhaps in one of the Andreivian Turkish villages).

The fluorescent red colour is, you'll be pleased to hear, temporary.  It just happens to be the colour of the textured masonry paint I use to give my buildings that roughcast feel.

Reaction to the UN vote on Andreivia

Matrix Game, Turn 1, Argument 5

Richard Phillips is the last player in the Matrix Game to get the chance to argue.  He threw in this one:

Anders Blix, UN Special Envoy to Andreivia has submitted a report to Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali urging the United Nations Security Council to issue a mandate for increased NATO deployments to Andreivia due to the deteriorating humanitarian situation. The Secretary General has called an emergency meeting of the Council to vote on Resolution S/RES/755 (1992). The Secretary General proposes the establishment of the United Nations Operation in Andreivia (UNOA) led by troops from the Italian Armed Forces under the command of Lieutenant General Claudio Graziano. The UNOA would be tasked with the following mission:-

a). Securing a corridor for aid convoys between the Turkish border and Tcherbevan. 

b). Providing protection for humanitarian relief convoys as requested by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and providing ground transport for difficult routes.

c). Creating a secure environment in order to provide humanitarian assistance to all members of the civilian population as the United Nations have grave concerns about the deteriorating situation in Andreivia.

I was faced with something of a dilemma here as the Russians would obviously have the option to veto any such motion.  I asked Richard to run the motion past Tom who determined that the Russian delegation in New York would indeed exercise this option.

This left me with no option but to declare the argument Very Weak.  This meant that it would only succeed on a six (representing some last-minute horse-trading at the UN or perhaps Yeltsin acting in a loose cannon fashion against the advice of his team).

I rolled a one (at work on my iPhone dice rolling app, witnessed by colleague and fellow wargamer Geoff Taylor) so the Argument does not succeed.

Matrix Game, Turn 1, Argument 4

Andy Canham came back quickly with this argument on behalf of the Andreivian Turks:

ACTION: Today, acting with support from the command and control of the Dvimim Naval Military Academy, the Black Sea Fleet Marines have secured the port facilities at Mdinar, enabling support for the peoples of Andreivia against the aggression of the Ottoman forces and their NATO allies.  However, in an unfortunate series of events in the crowded shipping offshore, the fleet flagship helicopter carrier and amphibious landing ship "Admiral Kuznetzov" was rammed by the now obsolete battleship "Potemkin".  The latter immediately broke in two and sank with the almost total loss of all personnel below decks, while the Ad Kuznetsov has been left badly holed and tilted at a nearly fatal 35 degree angle.  From this position, the ship is unable to launch amphibious craft or fly off helicopters.

RESULT: Although this move has ensured effective command and control for amphibious infantry landings and also naval artillery from the destroyers deployed as a peacekeeping force to the area, the loss of the Potemkin has massively reduced ship to shore firepower, while the effective loss of the Ad Kuznetsov has severely limited the ability of the Russians to land troops in the foreseeable future, both from amphibious and heliborne methods.  The world-wide syndication of images of the crippled Ad Kuznetsov and the ghostly outline of the remains of the Potemkin in the shallow waters off the mouth of the Krupnehr River are causing consternation in the highest echelons of the Russian hierarchy, with Boris Yeltsin allegedly falling from his chair, spilling his vodka, when he received the news from an aide. In NATO circles, there is immense satisfaction that the bear has got his feet wet, particularly in the higher echelons of the RN and USN.

REASON 1: The Black Sea Fleet is a cadre with high corps morale, and the Andreivan facilities and staff have been indoctrinated in naval fraternity since the days of Imperial Russia, through the days of the Great Patriotic War and in decades of stand offs with the Turks and their NATO allies, although, through years of Soviet miss-management and a focus on the Red Army, maintenance of the naval fleet has been sorely neglected, particularly with poor quality steel components.  A PRAVDA spokesman has blamed the total failure of the steering mechanism on the Potemkin, while manoeuvring at high speed, for the collision, although there are dark rumours of sabotage by Crimean nationalists in support of their Andreivian brothers.

REASON 2: The waters in the eastern part of the Black Sea are non-tidal, but the strong currents near the mouth of the Krupnehr cause rapidly shifting sand banks, which the Potemkin was almost certainly trying to negotiate at the time of the collision, a situation which would have been aggravated by the limited visibility arising from coastal fog which is prevalent at the time of the incident.

REASON 3: It will take several weeks for the Russian Navy to replace the Ad Kuznetsov from Murmansk, which will severely limit the mobility of the Russian forces in taking up key positions in Andreiva, with the result that most troop mobility will be by foot.

I agreed with Andy a (possibly generous) "Average" strength for this Argument.  It would therefore succeed on a 4+,  I rolled the die and got a ... 5 so the collision does indeed take place.

Matrix Game, Turn 1, Argument 3

The third Argument in our Matrix Game comes from Tom Zunder as the Russians:

ACTION: Today, acting with support from the command and control of the Dvimim Naval Military Academy, the Black Sea Fleet Marines have secured the port facilities at Mdinar, enabling support for the peoples of Andreivia against the aggression of the Ottoman forces and their NATO allies. 

RESULT: This will ensure effective command and control for amphibious infantry landings and also naval artillery from the destroyers deployed as a peacekeeping force to the area.

REASON 1: The Black Sea Fleet is a cadre with high corps morale, and the Andreivan facilities and staff have been indoctrinated in naval fraternity since the days of Imperial Russia, through the days of the Great Patriotic War and in decades of stand offs with the Turks and their NATO allies.

REASON 2: President Yeltsin made a coherent and passioned speech on TV last night denouncing the rise of a new Ottoman aggression in the area, and pledging Russian peacekeepers to prevent the rise of ethnic cleansing. Flanked by Russian and Armenian Orthodox priests and a Central Asian mullah, Yeltsin pledged a new freedom of conscience in the Confederation of Independent States.

REASON 3: Naval personnel in key positions in Andreiva have historically enjoyed a programme of officer exchange visits with the Soviet Union's Black Sea Fleet, and as such share the concern of all Russians at the outbreak of sectarian strife.

This is a nicely-structured Argument but it does involve a military operation and these must always be risky.  I’d start, I think, at Strong (succeeds on a 3+) for a military operation that’s not overly ambitious.  I should then come down from there to Average (4+) as the involvement of Andreivian Naval Officers in the operation has not been established in a previous Argument.  However, this Argument would get us more Russian boots on the ground and so more for our Russian players to do when we get the toys out so I’m going to use Referee’s executive fiat to leave it at 3+.

The die is still here from last night so let’s roll now… It’s a 3 and the argument succeeds!

29 November 2014

Tcherbevan Tram

Picked this up for a bargain off a well known auction site. Been wanting to get one for ages but always seem to go for a bit too much.

Sold to the Andreivian Transport Authority for use in Tcherbevan in the mid 1950's by the Birmingham City Transport Co. after the system had stopped all services in Birmingham. This tram is the only one left running and operates along the south bank of the Krupnehr linking the capital with the coastal town of Kvish and its sandy beaches.

24 November 2014

Matrix Game, Turn 1, Argument 2

And now we have Argument number 2 from Ian Shaw representing the Andreivian Government!

The Andreivian Government has called upon the Security Council of the United Nations to deploy Blue Beret peacekeepers into Andreivia and to impose a no-fly zone over the country.  This may have multiple results:

1. NATO or the Russians veto the request to avoid having UN troops further complicate the situation 
2. The UN Peacekeepers arrive and de facto cement the Government in place as things stand.
3. Either way the legitimacy of the Government is reinforced in the eyes of non-aligned nations.

They can do this because they are the legitimate Government and have a popular mandate and because they are opposing a terrorist campaign.

This is a rather unconventional Argument but I think it is reasonably strong because Ian isn't actually seeking to determine what the result of the vote may be (though the NATO and/or Russian players may feel the need to use up an Argument to determine the result of the vote; or they may just ignore it).  As such I determine the Argument to be Very Strong (fails only on a six).  

I will now roll a d6....  It's a six!  Sorry Ian. :-(  

We can only assume there was some kind of dirty dealing in a back-room at the United Nations and for some reason the Andreivian Delegation was unable to call for the vote.

We now move on to Tom Zunder who has stepped in to act as the Russians for this phase of Andreivia's history.

20 November 2014

Matrix Game - Turn 1, Argument 1

The starting positions for the next table-top Andreivian game is to be determined by a Matrix Game of the type invented by Chris Engle.

Pete Jones has made Argument 1 on behalf of the Andreivian Armenians and has been successful.  The following Action has taken place and has brought about the stated Result:

ACTION: Our spies in the Northern Hills and at the Airport will make detailed maps and report to the Armenian High Command on strongpoints, gun positions and troop deployments of the Russians.

RESULT: We will gain accurate positions of the Communist Invaders which will enable our artillery to shower them will Raining Fire in the first part of our objective to reclaim our Motherland.

REASON 1: When our glorious Deputy Serj Benkian declared the republic be dissolved last year every Armenian knew it was their duty to repel the Foreign Invaders and protect the Motherland. As they are fighting for what is rightfully theirs they will be fanatically dedicated to the course and go to any measures, risking their lives to scout the area. The Northern Hills give us a good vantage point over the airport with good Lines of sight.

REASON 2: Some of our Armenian brothers who work at the airport are loyal to the cause and remember the Soviet Forces occupying Andreivia after World War 2. They remain working for the Russians giving them the Impression they are no danger and pretend to befriend them. All the time they are plotting their down fall and using their detailed knowledge of the airport to to draw up intricate plans.

REASON 3: The Russians are so busy flying in reinforcements and patrolling the edge of their area they will not be expecting spying from within their boundaries.They are spread very thinly and will rely on local Andrevian workers to help them oblivious to the fact they are loyal to the Andrevian cause.

02 October 2014

Wargamer Generosity

Time after time I've found our hobby to be populated by good people who are incredibly generous with their time and resources.

Last week I asked on the SOTCW forum if anyone would spare some unwanted figures so I could make up Andreivia Lucky Bags.  The idea being that people could buy entry to Crisis Point IV, enough figures to make themselves a suitable force, and some background material on the setting. I figured that if four or five people provided a dozen or so plastic figures each we could make up, with what I have spare already, three or four such packs.

This evening I came home to find that John from Glasgow (aka Bannockburn Bhoy on the SOTCW forum) had sent me the following:

That's 131 metal figures!  With these we can make up Russian, British and American platoon packs and by adding some of my current stock of plastics and Atlantic Jeeps, a nice Armenian Militia unit too!

All I can say is, "Thank you, John.  Your generosity is greatly appreciated and will go some way to ensuring that we make a significant surplus and can make a useful donation to our chosen charity".

30 September 2014

The Andreivian Battle Reports

I thought it might be helpful to have a single location with links to all of the reports of past Andreivian actions.  So here they are with the most recent battles first:

Battle For Tcherbevan

Practice Game

SAS in the Southern Hills

Street-fighting in Tcherbevan

Spetsnaz at Tcherbevan

Hill 154

Tuzkhur Valley

16 September 2014

It's A Date

We now have a date for the next major episode in the sad history of post-Communist Andreivia.

Crisis Point IV will take place across the weekend of 28th and 29th March 2015.

Once more we'll be playing out the events in downtown Tcherbevan but this time the action is likely to spread to the surrounding district.  Who knows, we may see fighting around the Dvimin Military Academy?  Maybe the Russians will land on the coast?  Will the Armenians manage to hold onto the Northern Hills?  Can the Turks maintain a base for their Air Force (depicted above)?

02 September 2014

Tcherbevan WIP

I have started three more buildings to add to Tcherbevan, I plan between now and Christmas to build enough buildingd to cover a 6' x 4' table with a 21" wide river running throught he middle. I didn't get time to complete this for Crisis Point III so I really want to get it sorted for next year.

So first up a Tower inspired by the Svaneti towers now being used as a riverside warehouse. I plan a few more Svaneti inspired buildings. If you look in the bottom left corner of the first photo you see pencil lines which signify the location of Richard C's fantastic ATV Tower which dominates the Tcherbevan skyline.

Next a couple of smaller warehouses that will near the outside market.

31 March 2014

Completed TV Building

For those who haven't seen them elsewhere, here are some pics of the completed Andreivian TV building in downtown Tcherbevan:

That's a 1/72nd scale BTR-80 outside the front door.

...and that's a Russian SA-7 team on the roof of the observation platform.

29 March 2014

Just a Couple of Weeks to Go

I think I'm getting on top of preparation for Crisis Point III - Battle for Tcherbevan.

The TV building is finished and yesterday I acquired the makings of some air support for the Andreivian Armenians (having decided I wouldn't get the Mi-24 Hind finished in time).  Pictures to follow.

I now have:

  • 12'x6' of terrain cloths - more expected from other players.
  • The river sections with big road bridge
  • Most of the buildings for the city centre and outlying villages
  • All the buildings for the airport
  • Two Russian forces, one each for Jamie and Russ
  • Some Andreivian Armenians for Rob 
  • Some Government troops for George
  • A Mujahideen force for Gordon
  • Some spare NATO troops
  • One aircraft for each faction
  • Briefings for each faction (many of them with cunning, last-minute addenda)
  • Some special civilian figures to add complexity

I still need to:

  • Finish the coastal/river freighter
  • Build some more Middle Eastern houses for the Turkish Quarter
  • Make sure everyone gets a QR sheet
  • Organise my NATO troops into one or two players'-worth of units
  • Repaint my new aircraft in Armenian colours 

05 March 2014

Andreivian TV Building

I've not published much in the way of new blog posts recently as I've been busy beavering away on this new building for Tcherbevan - the HQ of Andreivian Television:

At the moment it's just the foamcore shell and some detailing.  More pics later when I make more progress.

02 March 2014

Miscellaneous Update

Now that I have a decent internet connection thanks to EE, it's a lot easier to post pictures so here's a catch up on some of the latest Andreivian developments at Stately Counterpane Manor.

This Andreivian Armenian T-55 is an Altaya ready-built model.  All I've
done is to repaint the Czechoslovak roundel in the Andreivian-Armenian
colours of red, cobalt blue, and golden yellow. 

This is a Revell 1/142nd North Sea trawler being converted into a
1/72nd scale coaster for use in Andreivian waters.

My latest terrain test reveals that I need buildings for the Turkish Quarter.
Since this was taken I've beefed up the Armenian Quarter (background)
by adding some generic Mediterranean buildings. 

This Model Kit goods depot will be used on the edge of the Armenian Quarter.
The SdKfz 251/1 won't. 

26 February 2014

Tcherbevan Progress

Managed to get a bit of time in the Shed this week so started to put the layout together for Tcherbevan.

The Central Square in Tcherbevan surrounded by the Grand Hotel (Top Left), Ministry of Culture (Top Right) and the WIP building in the bottom right is the beginnings of the Central Station.

The Central Square from another angle. The card model on the right is from Lidl. Its a model of the Brandenburg Gate. Its a bit small to allow vehicles through so I am using it in a pedestrian area.

Andreivian Type 61 tanks rumble through Central Square past the Grand Hotel.

The Embankment made from vinyl floor strips. The MDF area to the right will be the river. Richard C providing his 2 x 21" wide river boards. The area at the bottom of the picture will have a railway bridge and railway. 

Tcherbevan in all its WIP Glory!

30 January 2014

Standing in the Foyer of the Grand Hotel

Suitcase in his hand looking for a bill.

The Tcherbevan Grand Hotel is finished. This will form another side of the square with the Ministry of Culture on another edge.


26 January 2014

Some progress

Just thought I'd post a couple of recent pics that have appeared on my main blog but haven't made it onto Andreivian Tales yet.

First up, the English Church with its base.

Church from Hovels, gate from 4 Ground, walls unidentified resin casts I've had for years, base an old placemat, gravestones (not visible in this shot) Renedra.

Then there's this barn.  It'll probably appear in one of the villages in the hills.

More to follow when the rest of the family aren't bugging me for access to the Internet.

22 January 2014

1991 Monument

Finished '1991' monument for Tcherbevan's Central Square.

Base includes old Coke and a ripped up Andreivian flag!

Yellow and Blue flag remnants litter the base!

Ministry of Culture (Part 3)

The Ministry of Culture is almost finished, just got a couple of bits from S&S to make it look modern (air conditioning unit and satellite dish).

The completed Ministry of Culture, just got an aircon unit and satellite dish to add when they arrive from S&S.

The Ministry of Culture sign and Andreivian coat of arms.

Close up of the completed paving slabs with weeds.

The balcony where the President makes state appearances.

19 January 2014

Ministry of Culture (Part 2)

The Ministry of Culture nears completion. The roof and windows have all been finished and the building has been based.

The base is 2mm MDF with individual paving slabs glued on to create the pavement. Time consuming but I am happy with the results and its a cheap method as I use the cardboard from Costa Coffee carriers.

The building has a final coat of Matt Rice Cake from B&Q Colours range.

Lidl Fine Modellers Paste is added around the base of the building this will be painted and weeds and rubbish will be added. Then I just need to add the Ministry of Culture sign to the front and this is ready.

This was inspired by a monument entered into one of the Guilds' build competitions. I thought it would look good as monument in the central square in Tcherbevan.

Again the base is 2mm MDF with Costa paving and Lidl Paste around the base. Just got to finish the base off and this is done.


12 January 2014

Ministry of Culture (Part 1)

Reports have come in that renovation work to the front facade of the Ministry of Culture are progressing on time and on budget. Andreivian craftsman have been working round the clock restoring the 19th century carved window frames and shutters and are nearing completion. There still remains around 60 wooden shutters to repair and replace but a spokesman from the Ministry of Culture confirmed that the work should be completed in the next few days.

Work continues to the 19th century facade

The new roof still needs to be fitted

A view showing the restored windows and missing roof.

The roof nears completion. The front porch erected in the 1960's has been removed and Andreivian craftsmen have restored the original 19th century doors to their former glory

A closer view of the exquisite workmanship of our Andreivian craftsmen


A couple of logos, with the help of 'Paint', that I have sorted out for the Andreivian Military Police and also the Andreivian Police Force.