Monday, October 18, 2021

I Know I Haven't Been Here in a While - But, I've Been A Bit Busy!

 See, I have had a little project to work on, and it was finally released last Friday:

Taken from the Military Miniatures Home Page

So, I regret the fact I didn't have a lot of time to update this page. I really do. I am trying to keep up, but yeah, this is a serious gig, with serious-time schedules. And to be honest, it's a labor of love as much as "500 Miles..." is. That said, I will try and come by here and post as I can. I am working on some stuff of interest on the workbench, so stay tuned.

But, shameless plug time, we're a quarterly magazine for miniatures gamers of all stripes. We're trying to be the American voice of the miniature wargaming hobby. A voice that's been silent for far too long (No offense meant to our UK and European readers). We think there's just enough room at the table for us too. If you haven't taken a look, please do. It's a good magazine full of good articles and we worked our tails off on it. 

That said, I have a little break before I gotta work on the next issue due out in January, and that's going to be even more jam-packed than the last one. So, I'll try to put up a blog post or two in the meanwhile. So bear with me folks, the blog isn't dead, she just isn't going to be as active as she used to be.


Saturday, April 3, 2021

Sorry About the Late Post This Time - US 5th Infantry Division in FFT 3!

So, first off, sorry about the late post this time. I meant to post late last week but between my day job and my second job with EpochXperience, it's been a busy time for this blogger. I still miss you guys and will do my best to get one to two posts a month out there. That said, let's get started.

One thing I am looking to do is put more Fistful of TOWs 3 orbats out there. I really want to make these available for folks as they seem to be rather popular with people. One thing I want to do now is to work on a formation near and dear to Twilight: 2000 fans, I'm going to do the 5th Infantry Division ca. 1997. Doing it in 2000 is a bit of guesswork based on "Death of a Division." It's doable, but I'd rather leave that to a later project, no?


Taken from the Free League Website


 The 5th Division, in real life, the division was assigned to US III Corps, and was supposed to be part of the US force designated to reinforce NORTHAG. The division had two active brigades, as well as a roundout brigade, the 256th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) of the Louisiana National Guard. The division in case of war, was supposed to fly over on civilian air transport (read: airliners) and collect their pre-positioned equipment in Germany and then go fight the Soviets presumably invading West Germany. 

 In Twilight: 2000, obviously things didn't go that way. The division according to the 1st Edition Army Vehicle Guide deployed by air and sea (um huh?) to West Germany in December of 1996. It went into action as part of III Corps, but then was transferred to Panzergruppe Obendorf. Most Twilight: 2000 fans are pretty familiar with the rest of the division's war record. But suffice to say, the 5th had an eclectic mix of gear as it was made up of active and reserve units.

Shoulder Patch of the 5th Infantry Division, Taken from Wikipedia


 Now, there's some good information on the 5th. We have three sources to figure out the TOE for the division. One is of course, the venerable US Army Vehicle Guide.

Ol' Reliable Itself - Taken from Amazon.com


  Another pair of items I have available are two books I am sure played a role in the research of the US Army Vehicle Guide. One is Armies of NATO's Central Front by David C. Isby and Charles Kemps. I was lucky to get a copy cheap, but I assure you, it's hard to find, but worth the price.

Taken from Abe Books.com


  Another complimentary work is Gordon Rottman's work on the US Army in the 1980s, which had a very helpful battalion level breakdown of the divisions and independent brigades of the US army ca. 1987. Granted, I suspect some of the battalions would have realigned again sometime between then and the Twilight War, but hey, might as well go with it.  



 A final source is a friend of mine's. Chico and I did a lot of work for the late and lamented DC Working Group. I enjoyed the work we put out and one of those items was a battalion level breakdown of the various battalions of EVERY division in the US Army at the beginning of the Twilight War. Our work can be found at the following links:

 We did a lot of research on these, so I am going to borrow from all three of these elements to come up with a 5th Division that well, works.

 So...without further ado...here's the 5th Division.

5th Infantry Division (Mechanized), December 1996

Quality: Good/Excellent
Artillery Accuracy and Response: 2+ for both

Combat Formations

4-12th Cavalry (Divisional Cavalry Squadron)
 
Base Troops: 
2 recon M3 Bradley CFV (NBC Recon Platoon)

2 Cav Troops, each with:
1 M-106 4.2" Mortar Carrier
4 recon M-3 Bradley CFV

2 Air Cav Troops, each with:
2 OH-58
1 AH-1V


Armored Battalions (1-70th, 3-70th, 2-77th, 3-77th, and 1-156th (LANG))

Base Troops:
1 recon M3 Bradley CFV (Scout Platoon)
1 M-106 4.2" Mortar Carrier
1 Stinger Base + HMMWV (ADA Platoon)

4 Tank Companies, each with:
3 M1A1 MBT

Mechanized Battalions (1-61st, 3-6th, 4-6th, 2-156th (LANG), and 3-156th (LANG))

Base Troops:
1 recon M-3 Bradley CFV
1 M-106 4.2" Mortar Carrier
1 Stinger Base + 1 HMMWV

AT Company:
3 M901 ITVs
 
4 Mechanized Infantry Companies, each with:
4 M2A2 Bradleys + 4 Infantry Stands with Javelin ATGM

Engineer Battalion (7th Combat Engineers)
1 M9 Dozer
2 M-60 AVLB
2 M-728 CEV
3 Medium Trucks with Bridge Sections

Attack Helicopter Battalion (1-5th)
6 AH-1V
3 OH-58

Artillery Support Groups

Tube Artillery Battalions (4-1st, 5-1st. and 1-141st Artillery (LANG))
6 M-109A3 SP 155mm How
 
MLRS Battery (C Battery, 21st Artillery Regiment)
2 M-270 MLRS

Well, that's it for now, We'll be back later with more Twilight: 2000 wargaming related content soon! 









Thursday, February 25, 2021

The Things You Find When Reading Rulebooks!

  So, I was reading through my copy of Normandy Firefight and I happened on the designer's notes. The designer of the rules, Warwick Kinrade, who is also the designer of the awesome Battlegroup rules (I am a bit biased...) admitted that the game was "old school" and deliberately so...

Taken From Board Game Geek


 To quoth Warwick:
"This is because [the game] is a throwback to the games I played growing up, with influences from the likes of Rudis (a fine game of detailed one-to-one gladiatorial combat I still play), Twilight: 2000 (italics are mine), and the daddy of detailed modern firearms combat - Phoenix Command. With the exception of Rudis, I don't play those other games now - I don't have the time - but I did want a game in their spirit that would last an hour or less."

Well, Mr. Kinrade. I am asking, was there thoughts to doing a modern version? Or will your new project Nam '68 be a nod to that?  So, now I am inspired. Is Normandy Firefight the rules set for Twilight: 2000 table firefights I have been seeking all along? I mean, yeah, it's World War II, meant for 54mm figures (It does have conversion rules for 25mm/28mm and 20mm) and it's meant for small groups of miniatures, but it's a pretty cleanly written set of rules, and the engagement ranges we're playing at means not much has changed except EVERYONE is more than likely carrying some form of fully auto weapon, so I don't think the work to convert it would be all that hard. Might be a bit harder when you get into night vision gear, body armor, and some other modern accoutrements. But again, I don't think we're too far off the mark here. 

In short, this might be an easier conversion process than first thought? So, to set my brain to motion.... 



Tuesday, February 23, 2021

A Somewhat Longer News Post - Lots Going on These Days!

 I promised more, and I am delivering, there's been a lot of developments in the Twilight: 2000 world. First, there's been a release of a new supplement for those fans of US-based campaigns. Namely, the release of the Pacific Northwest Sourcebook. I was very pleased in my first read through of this book, and it's chock full of information (and potential wargaming opportunities, finally, something to do with my 20mm Liberation Canadians armed with FN-FALs and Sterling SMGs!)  

Taken from DriveThruRPG


 The book is comprehensive, smart and well written by Clayton Oliver. My only complaint, no maps. I can't really fault the designer as much as you might think. My own module writing efforts have run into some trouble because of the issue with finding contemporary maps online (there doesn't seem to be a drive to add 1995 AAA or Rand McNally maps online to anywhere. Kind of a pain in the arse, but one does what they can). I especially love the cold weather rules and the vehicles in the book. Japanese AFVs, this I did not expect! 

 But I still highly recommend the book and feel it's well worth the money invested. And for $9.99 as a PDF? It's a bargain. The PDF is available on DriveThruRPG, and is already selling well (It hit Silver Seller on DriveThru already!). I especially like the description of the Soviet advance into Seattle (anyone think Clayton Oliver channeled this PC game when he wrote this? Then again, I sometimes wonder if the designers of World In Conflict channeled Twilight: 2000?), and the detailed breakdown of the various military units available (Hi, ORBAT nerd, comes with being a wargamer.)  I promise a Module Suitability Review soon! Plenty of wargaming ideas to be had here. I give this 4.5 out of 5 mushroom clouds!

 The second bit of news is Chico has struck again, and for this ORBAT nerd, his stuff is always a fun bit of scenario mining, but this time, he has outdone himself. His work, War in the Far North, is just plain gold. He's also working on some stuff that will be of assistance to all Twilight: 2000 players in general, and that's some great info on military operations in the Artic (not just personal survival rules, as found in the Pacific Northwest book) and a good map for campaigning in the Northern Theatre! In short, well done Chico! I promise, a Module Suitability Review is coming!  I give this also 4.5 out of 5 mushroom clouds.

 As for where I have been, well, I have a paid blogging gig with these guys: EpochXperience.


 It's good and It's a paid gig, which is always a good thing for a professional writer like myself (don't panic, I have a day job, also as a writer.) I am trying to post to this blog at least once or twice a month so, so don't fret. I will be making regular posts as often as I can. In the meantime, stay frosty and watch the Giger Counter my friends. 

 


Saturday, January 30, 2021

Short News Post - New Company in 28mm I've Discovered?

 Well, they're new to me. I'd like to introduce you all to Studio Miniatures. I've seen some of their stuff, and it would fit right in for Twilight: 2000. I especially like the National Guard survivors as they're labeled, pictured below. 

Courtesy of Studio Miniatures


I especially like the "Will and Tom Set". These guys have a lot of character.

Courtesy of Studio Miniatures

Having discovered them, I found some of their other sets that would be of interest for someone doing Twilight: 2000 in 28mm, especially if you like certain movies or TV shows? I get the feeling more will be coming? I don't do 28mm normally, but this is kind of piquing my interest.  















There are oodles of figures to interest any 28mm Post-apoc gamer, and I think the sculpting standards look pretty good. All in all, I give them a 4.5 out of five mushroom clouds! Their website can be found at www.studiominiatures.com









Sunday, January 3, 2021

US 9th Infantry Division (Light Motorized) for the FFT 3 Project

 

US 9th Infantry Division (Light Motorized)

For the Fistful of TOWs 3 Project

Yeah, the division all the OOB freaks love in Twilight: 2000. I really wanted to do these guys for FFT 3 because they’re just going to be such a fun unit to do. There’s going to be a few changes to the unit as listed in the US Army Vehicle Guide. I did this to make the unit easier to field for the average wargamer. I also pulled some information from Chico’s Site on the Infantry Units of US Army in the Twilight War (I helped write this sucker back in the day, highly recommended!) I also pulled some info from Jane’s Armies of NATO’s Central Front.

Some of the small changes I made:

  • Replaced Tank Breaker with Javelin – It is the closest thing in the game to what Tank Breaker was in the game.

I’m going to assume that because the 9th was part of Central Command’s Rapid Deployment Force, I rated it on the higher side of the troop quality continuum.

So, let’s get started:

9th Infantry Division (Light Motorized)


Quality: Good

Artillery Accuracy and Friction Response: 2+/2+

______________________________________________________________________________

Combat Formations:


LAV-75 Assault Gun Battalions: (Maximum of Two; 4-23rd and 2-60th Infantry Bn (Assault Gun)):
  • Base
o 2 recon FAV Stands (Scout Platoon)
o 1 M-18 120mm Mortar Carrier (Mortar Platoon)
o 1 Stinger Stand and 1 HMMWV (ADA Platoon) 
  • 3 Companies, each with:
o 3 LAV-75

Light Motorized Battalions: (Maximum of Five; 2-47th, 2-23rd, 3-1st, 3-60th,3-47th Infantry Bns):
  • Base
o 2 recon FAV Stands (Scout Platoon)
o 1 120mm Mortar Stand and 1 2 ½ Truck (Mortar Platoon)
o 1 Stinger Stand and 1 HMMWV (ADA Platoon)
  • AT Company
o 3 HMMWV with Hellfire
o 1 LAV AT with TOW
o 1 HMMWV Fire Support Vehicle
  • 2 Light Motorized Companies, each with:
o 3 Infantry Stands with Javelin ATGM
o 4 HMMWV
  • 1 Heavy Motorized Company
o 3 LAV-25
o 3 Infantry Stands with Javelin ATGM

Light Attack Battalions (Maximum of Two; 2-1 and 2-2 Infantry Bns):
  • Base
o 2 recon FAV Stands (Scout Platoon)
o 1 120mm Mortar Stand and 1 2 ½ ton Truck (Mortar Platoon)
o 1 Stinger Stand and 1 HMMWV (ADA Platoon) 
o 1 HMMWV with Hellfire (AT Platoon)

   3 Light Attack Companies, each with:

o 1 HMMWV
o 4 FAV (1 vehicle has TOW)

________________________________________________________________________________

Attachments:


Divisional Cavalry Squadron (Maximum of One; 1-9th Cavalry Squadron):
  • Base
o 1 recon LAV-25 (NBC Recon Platoon)
o 1 M106 Mortar Carrier
  • 3 Cavalry Troops, each with:
o 4 recon LAV-25s

Attack Helicopter Battalion (Maximum of One: 1-9th Attack Helicopter Battalion)
  • 3 AH Companies, each with:
o 1 OH-58
o 2 AH-64

 Aviation Battalion (Maximum of One: 2-9th Aviation Battalion)

  • 3 Aviation Companies, each with:
o 3 UH-60s

Field Artillery Battalion (Maximum of Three: 1-11th, 3-11th, and 6-11th Artillery Bns)
  • 3 M198 155mm Howitzers and 3 2 ½ ton Trucks
Light Field Artillery Battalion (Maximum of One: 1-84th Artillery Battalion)
  • 3 M102 105mm Howitzers and 3 2 ½ ton Trucks 
  • 2 LARS MRL Systems.
Air Defense Artillery Battalion (Maximum of One: 1-44th ADA Battalion)
  • 2 Gun Batteries, each with:
o 3 M990s
o 4 Stinger Stands and 4 HMMWVs
  • 2 Missile Batteries, each with:
o 3 ADATS

Some of the systems here are well, to be honest, hard to find in micro armor, I have enclosed the following notes on what I use for the harder to find items:

FAVs - Scotia codes UM-11 to UM-14, 18, 22, and 23.

LAV-75s – Scotia codes UM-10

HMMWV FSV – Scotia code UM-4

ADATS – Heroics and Ros CM-6

You might have to do some work to come up with M990s. I’d suggest modifying a Gepard turret on the RDF light tank hull. It will look sorta like it. As for the LARS. I'd probably shorten a MLRS launcher, then put it on the back of an M548. As for all the game stats, you can find them here

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

2020, It 'Twas The Best of Times...Nah, Who Are We Kidding, It Stunk?

 So, I know I've not been as active of late on the blog, and I am hoping 2021 will be better. Partly, I have a paying gig with these nice folks: https://sjrresearch.tumblr.com/.

 It has been busy and I am very proud of the work I've done there. But, it has cut into the time I can give "500 Miles..." That said, I fully intend to put myself on a monthly article schedule and stick to it. I owe my loyal readers that much.

 I also have a lot of Russian Civil War on my mind lately, as I am painting 15mm to do games set during that conflict. 

 As for T2K items, it's been mostly quiet, with the exception of the release of the 4th Edition Alpha to Kickstarter supporters. I will say this much...I wish I could say I was impressed. I wasn't. Sadly, I feel Free League made a very good looking product, that when you scratch the surface, had a lot of problems. Problems that by the time the Alpha rolls around, should at least be addressed, let alone dealt with. 

 I invited Tomas from FL to do another interview to address these questions. He didn't even respond to my request. I am going to repeat that request. But, as of right now, I am going to say this about the 4th Edition. And I say this as a kickstarter backer. Please don't do what Cyberpunk 2077 did and rush this? Take the time and do it right. I am willing to wait. Keep me informed, and keep us in the loop. Want to see a delayed kickstarter done right? Talk to the guys at Catalyst Games Labs. Their Battletech Kickstarters ran into delays, they ran into numerous issues, and they and the fans persevered and in the end, they produced a top-notch product. Free League needs to take that stance.

 Enough said about that. Meanwhile, Mr. James Langham of the "Cold War Goes Hot" vlog on Youtube is coming out with a set of mass battle rules for Twilight: 2000. I suspect they might be based on his current 15mm efforts with "Seven Days to the Rhine" by Great Escape Games. I have a copy of those rules, but something about them doesn't float my personal boat. Not real sure as to why? Too simple I guess? I like my rules with a little crunch in them. Guess it's why I am painting like mad and thinking hard about variants for BG:Northag and FFT3? But who knows, I might be pleasantly surprised? 

I promise I will be posting some more FFT content soon, perhaps some nations OTHER than Poland? 

Other than that, I wish everyone a happy 2021, and we'll talk more very soon! TTFN!



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