Showcase: Sons of Horus Contemptor Dreadnought with CCWs

Hooray, I painted something! The Contemptor Dreadnought is one of my favourite kits from the Horus Heresy plastic range, so I couldn’t help to paint one for my small Sons of Horus collection. Find out more after the jump.

The post Showcase: Sons of Horus Contemptor Dreadnought with CCWs appeared first on Tale of Painters.

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Revisiting Jet Wargames 2022 #2 (Detection)

 In Part #2 of revisiting aerial wargames, I’d like to make sure I stay focussed on my manifesto:

-Energy management (potential vs kinetic vs position to foe) 


– Pilot skill 

-Aircraft Performance

The game should be fast, with no token clutter and recording. It should be about zooming planes around the table and tossing dice to pew pew, not plotting turns or consulting movement templates or special custom dials. I want all my toys on the table in a cool spectacle, not just a 1v1 duel. Skirmish wargames seem to manage this, so we will borrow from them. It should look more like Infinity or Mordhiem than a rehash of some 1970s Blue Max air rules or something X-Wing-y with special move rulers or dials.

Currently the movement rules play like a melee game where you spend stamina to melee, change direction or boost speed, with some sort of involved melee mechanics.

Tidying Up…

I feel there is quite a bit to tidy up from last post, unanswered questions like..

How do you regain an energy level? Perhaps if you are making a normal move, roll equal or below your Thrust on a d10 i.e. if your Thrust is 6″; you regain an energy level on a 6 or below.

What if there are multiple planes in a dogfight? I.e. 2v1, 3v1? Maybe just a +2 bonus each extra plane; but only one plane can attack. Planes pair off where possible. This will need a bit of playtesting.

Can planes lose control /spin? Probably only a very stressed pilot doing complex/tricky maneuvers (reversals. dogfights etc), so not a test to do frequently (we want to minimise needless dice rolls), but it should probably be possible.

Any other glaring questions I’ve missed? Obviously activation, detection and pilot skills have not really been addressed.

F-100 and MiG21 mercenary aces buzz a drilling rig…

Detection (ok, finally to the topic)

This is important in air warfare; but I don’t want it to be the main focus. 

I’m not going to faff around with ‘blinds’ and tokens and hidden movement like this is some sort of submarine game. Neither do I want constantly rolling for detection to interrupt the flow of the game – the movement and pew-pew. We’re here to dogfight, pew-pew and shoot missiles, and we can assume ground control have made either or both sides at least aware of the possibility of hostiles. I.e. surprise should be an important advantage – a “first shot”/ambush bonus, or activation/initiative advantage – but it’s not the “main game.

So to minimize unecessary dice rolling, we’ll set out a few simple rules. (I kinda have Infinity in mind here). You can use visual OR radar, but not both. (Unless maybe two seaters?) You need to choose if you are peering at the radar screen or scanning the sky around you.

Also, in my campaign against extra measuring or special dials, I want to make it so you can eyeball most situations, so I’m going to have just 2 ‘arcs’ – the front (180) and the back (180). You can look to the front or the back, but not both.

Yes, radars, guns and missiles might have much narrower arcs, but remember – simplicity – and we can presume the pilot can move the nose of the plane around and make commonsense adjustments. In Infinity facing matters, so 180 arcs should be good enough for us and dispense with the need for special protractor-ish devices.


Now I’m not exactly sure what max air-to-air visibility is, but I’m going to ballpark ~10km or so. I don’t have (or want!) a precise scale, but I want to have a rough idea vs weapon ranges. If dogfight range is 1-2″, then I’m going to say visibility is 6-10″ or so.  Perhaps it is equal to pilot skill – a 6 skill pilot sees 6″? 

This would fit with my ‘pilot skill matters’ key concept. The ranges can be tweaked after playtesting. Remember movement is like a 40K or skirmish melee game – in the 4-8″ range.

Maybe a pilot makes a single roll for EVERYTHING in either the front or rear (not both) and if he passes he spots EVERYTHING in that 180.  A bit crude – but we want it to be fast. Rolling for each target would be unbearably fiddly.

A few logical modifiers; poor visibility or night would halve the maximum range, and targets in the rear 180 may have a penalty of -2 to the spotting roll (or -4 if poor rearward visibility like a MiG-23), maybe +1/-1 for big/small planes.


While radar arcs vary, we’ll say radar works for everything in the front 180 only. Just like visual spotting, you make a single roll (this time, vs a radar stat rather than pilot skill?) and anything that passes is spotted.  

Again, a very few logical modifiers; +1/-1 for big and small, -4 for targets which are ‘on the deck’, and maybe -1/-2/-3 for varying levels of stealth or hostile EW.

K.I.S.S. – are the detection simple/minimal/unobtrusive enough?

+ We use just 2 arcs, front and rear, which can just be ‘eyeballed’

+ A single roll is made for each plane (of a single type – radar OR visual) in a single arc

+ Anything outside visual range in rear 180 arc can be ignored

+ Few modifiers and things to remember

– We’ll probably need a token (table clutter) to denote undetected aircraft

I’ve introduced two new stats here – Pilot Skill and Radar. Radar will be a number and a range i.e. Radar 5/24″. So a plane might be Thrust 6″, Sprint 10″, Agility 7 with a Radar of 5/36.” These are core stats. It’s no worse than a unit from a 40K army list. I think it’s still simple enough. I don’t want it to bog down with 101 stats and rolls. Basically, my benchmark is: would this rule/level of detail be fine in a Necromunda/Infinity level skirmish game? Can I play a game with 6-12 aircraft per side in an hour?


Now, what benefit does being undetected be? How do we track it? 

Ugh, probably will need a token – a Black Token next to an undetected jet. Which hopefully means we can remove them once the shooting starts. Token/table clutter is a concern. I’m looking at you, X-Wing.

Probably undetected jets get a significant ’to hit bonus’ – i.e. +2-3 to initial Dogfight rolls etc. Like a charge bonus in an infantry wargame, or an unopposed action in Infinity. Maybe also include some sort of activation or initiative advantage; undetected models can move out of sequence before/after detected models. So undetected aircraft, if not truly invisible on the tabletop, can ‘dictate the fight’ to a degree.

We seem to be heading into discussing initiative (and activation/actions/reactions) which are probably food for another post, and probably need to consider weapon range vs detection range vs movement range which may be yet another topic.


Snappy Nappy 2022 – Russia, 1812, the Northern Front: Set Up and initial moves

 Snappy Nappy 2022: Final List of Players, Commands, Starting Positions … 

The French players were … Kevin C, Steve T, Robert P, Mark H, Frank N, Alex O, and Nick M. 

The French commanders with their units started in the following locations:

Marshall Oudinot, Steve T. … at Polotsk, engineer unit near bridges in Polotsk, with light cavalry, and spy.

1.  General Legrand, 6th Division, Nick M. … at Borovka

2.  General Verdier, 8th Division (Castex’s 5th Lt Cav Brigade attached), Mark H. … Verdier is at Oboiarschina, Castex is just below Siwochina, these are starting on the same table top, yet separated.

3.  General Merle, 9th Division of Swiss (Corbineau’s 6th Lt Cav Brigade attached), Kevin C. … Merle and Corbineau, the Swiss are just north of Disna with the artillery and Corbineau’s cavalry, the Croats and Dutch are garrisoning Disna just south of the river.

4.  General Doumerc, 3rd Cuirassiers, Steve T. … at Polotsk covering all roads approaching, 2 Cuirassiers are northwest with 1 battery, 1 Cuirassier north with 1 battery, 1 light cav west, and 1 light cav northeast.

5.  General Von Deroy, 19th Division of St. Cyr’s Bavarian 6th Corp, Alex O. … not in the region yet.

6.  General Von Wrede, 20th Division of St. Cyr’s Bavarian 6th Corp, Robert P. … not in the region yet.

7.  General St. Cyr, starts with the Bavarian 6th Corp, Frank N. … with Von Wrede, not in the region yet.

Additional Information … Marshall Oudinot’s French 2nd Corp are already across the Dwina River, and have been in motion most of June and July.  Marshall MacDonald’s force is far to your west, and Napoleon with the forces of the main thrust to Moscow is far to the east.  The French are aware that the bridge at Drissa has been destroyed, have protected the bridge at Disna, and rebuilt two bridges at Polotsk.  Additionally, there is one redoubt northwest of Polotsk.  Napoleon has given orders to protect his north flank, and reach St Petersburg far to the North.

Also, the French had access to maps of the areas around Disna, Bononi, Polotsk, and Gamzelov.

– – – – – – – – – – – –

The Russian players were … Karl N, Russ L, James S, Peter V, Brendan S, Mike S, and Dan B.

The Russian commanders started in the following locations …

General Wittgenstein, Peter V. … Drissa, behind Kakhoffski just south of town with engineer, light cavalry, and spy.

A.  General Kulnieff, Vanguard/Rearguard will start away from the Russian army, James S. … infantry and foot artillery with Depot Guard cavalry at Swolna, Hussars and Cossacks with horse artillery at Mamonitchina, these are on the same table, yet separated.

B.  General Kazatchkowsky, 1st Line Command of Berg’s 5th Division, Russ L. … east of Drissa, artillery between town and the Drissa river, infantry east of the river.

C.  General Kakhoffski, 2nd Line Command of Berg’s 5th Division (Balk’s Cavalry Brigade attached), Brendan S. … Drissa, just south of town, Balk’s cavalry with horse artillery furthest south.

D.  General Sazonov, Reserves, Mike S. … Pokajewsky … just south and east of the town.

E.  Prince Repnin, Cavalry Reserve, Karl N. … Pokajewsky … covering all approaches to Pokjewsky and screening the infantry and artillery.

F.  Count Steinheil, Russian reinforcements, Dan B. … Ratitzy, not on a table at start.

Additional info … General Wittgenstein’s Russian 1st Corp are mostly near Drissa with Repnin and Sazanov close by, and Kulnieff serving as the Vanguard/Rearguard to the east.  The Russian 1st Corp has been in retreat for most of June and July.  There are Russian forces far to your west, and Barclay De Tolley with most of the other Russian forces are attempting to stop Napoleon from reaching Moscow far to the east.  Wittgenstein’s Engineering unit has seen that the bridge at Drissa has been destroyed.  The Russians are aware that the French 2nd Corp under Marshall Oudinot have been moving east along the Dwina River on the south bank.  General Barclay-De-Tolly has given orders to protect all the territory north of the Dwina River, and “beat the French”.

Also, the Russians had access to maps of the areas around Drissa, Swolna, Wolinizi, and Katerinov.

Overall campaign map, for reference; the players were operating off this map as well. In the event, the roads to Danowiczy were in terrible condition, and it proved impossible to move there, much to the confusion, at times, of the Russians in particular, yet even the French spy attempted to reach it twice and couldn’t. 

Table B – Borovka – General Legrand’s French Division is ready to move out. 
Map for Borovka table

Table BB – Bononi
Map for Table BB

Table JK – Jakubowo. All quiet… for now!
Map for Table JK – the light green is soft ground, impassable for cavalry and artillery, move penalty for Infantry moving off road. 

Table O – Oboiarschina; Oh boy, I seen a French Division, in this case General Verdier. 
Map for Table O

Table GA – – Gamezlov; the Game is on, as GM Mark looks on with pleasure. The white poker chip indicates the villages are under Russian control at present – important for future supply checks!
Map for Table GA

Table DR – Drissa; Multiple Russian commands are present at the start of the campaign, including Wittgenstein himself,  Kazatchkowsky, Kakhoffski, Sazanov, and Prince Repnin’s Cavalry Reserve. 
Map for Table DR

Table G – Golovitischa – French troops are pressing hard and fast North towards St Petersburg, along the main road. 
Map for Table G

Table W – Wolonizi, along the road from Drissa to Polotsk; Kakhoffski’s command is seen marching East,  while the Russian Advanced Guard under Kulnieff traverses from one table to the next.
Map for Table W

Table K – Katerinovo; Prince Repnin’s cavalry is pushing East towards Jakubowo.
Map for Table K

Table SP – Sebej  (in the far North – continuing North off this table leads to St Petersburg!) Note the snowy terrain (even in summer…)

Map for Table SP 

Table DI – Disna; Merle’s Division, which includes 4 units of Elite Swiss infantry (cleverly disguised as Danes here – hey, they both wore red coats!) is deployed in a broad defensive position, as Kulnieff’s Russians arrive on the scene from the North.
Map for Table DI

Table P = Polotsk; key French supply center; some troops are left to hold the toen against any surprise attck, and other await developments to see where they are needed most! 
Map for Table P

Table S – Swolna; Where Kulnieff started, and lots of Russian troops moving both South and East.
Map for Table S

Table Y – Yakovtsy; along an alternate North to South route to Golovitchitsa. 
Map for Table Y

General Sazanov and his Russians see plenty of French moving North will all haste. 

French General Verdier and Russian Prince Repnin both arrive on the Jakubowo table at the same time; the terrain doesn’t favor the Prince’s all cavalry command. 

General Legrand has his Division on the march Northward.
General Sazanov leaving Drissa.

Doumerc’s Cuirassiers heading towards Disna; he leaves behind one group at Gamzelov. 

French on the move 

General Kazatchkowsky, aka Snappy Nappy author Russ Lockwood, has his troops moving East through  Katerinovo to support Prince Repnin’s cavalry at Jakubowo. 

Russian troops, including C-in-C Wittgenstein, marching South through Wolinitizi, on their way towards Disna. 

All quiet at Polotsk!

Only a few more Russian cavalry traveling thru the Swolna area.

A few Opolochenie garrisoning Drissa.

General Merle, at Disna, finds himself now facing off against first one, then two, and ultimately three Russian commands, all coming via different routes. The first major engagement of the campaign is under way! “Well one advantage of red uniforms is that they hide the bloodstains!”

Blunders On The Danube