More nonsense... I mean, cool stuff.

In between the washer-base experiment, I tried to use the ideas I had posted on randomly selecting forces, but it was too hard to remember what the playing cards stood for. So I created a set of business cards (using free Avery templates) and printed them out, front and back. Since I have to feed the business card sheets manually, they came out crooked every time, but "good enough for wargaming".
If anyone is interested, I have posted 3 files (2 sets of fronts and one back to use for both) on Mediafire here:

Since there are 10 cards per sheet and I needed 18 to cover the cards allocated, I used the 2 extra for Recon squads, which will probably be incorporated eventually. And I can make up more cards fairly easily if desired.

I also uploaded the Unit ID / markers sheet I made up (in MSPaint, actually), then had it printed on one 8.5" x 11" sheet of peel-and-stick paper, to be cut out and used for Unit IDs (on the bottom of the magnets, 2 per squad, 3 per HW squad, 1 per ATG); and the P & S (Pinned and Suppressed) markers to be mounted on something suitable (front and back for easy flipping).
They are here:

Then I used the Force Cards to make up some sample OOB's for different scenarios (all in summer 1943, which is where I will start since it matches my equipment best)(and I have a great book by David Glantz on the post-Kursk Soviet offensive).

Test 1: Frontal Assault, Soviet attacker.
Germans: 3 Rifle, 1 Barrage, 1 Pz IVh, 1 Armored Infantry.
Soviets: 3 Rifle, 2 Barrages, 1 T34/76c, 2 Tank Riders, 1 KV-85, 1 SU-85.

Test 2: Surprise Attack, German attacker.
Germans: 2 Rifle, 2 Barrages, 2 Armored Infantry, 1 Pz IVh, 1 Heavy Weapons, 1 Pz III L or M, 1 Pz VIa.
Soviet initial defenders: 3 Rifle, 1 Barrage.
Soviet reinforcements: 1 Rifle, 1 T34/76c, 1 Tank Riders, 1 SU-85.

Test 3: Encounter.
Germans: 3 Rifle, 1 Barrage, 2 Armored Infantry, 1 Pz IVh, 1 Heavy Weapons, 1 Pz VIa.
Soviets: 3 Rifle, 1 Barrage,1 Tank Riders, 1 T34/76c, 1 KV-85, 2 SU-85.

Test 4: Escalating Assault.
German initial forces: 1 Armored Infantry, 1 Pz IVh, 1 Pz V.
German reinforcements: 2 Rifle, 1 Barrage, 1 Armored Infantry, 1 Pz III L or M, 1 Marder III.
Soviet initial forces: 1 Rifle, 1 Tank Riders, 1 T34/76c.
Soviet reinforcements: 2 Rifle, 1 Barrage, 1 Tank Riders, 1 KV-85, 1 Cavalry.

Test 5: Surprise Attack, Soviet Attacker.
German initial defenders: 2 Rifle, 1 Barrage, 1 Pz III L or M.
German reinforcements: 1 Rifle, 2 Armored Infantry, 1 Pz IVh.
Soviet attackers: 2 Rifle, 2 Barrage, 3 Tank Riders, 2 T34/76c, 2 KV-85, 1 SU-85.

So there is some control of what you wind up with, but you can still wind up not getting the mix you would prefer.

Thanks for stopping by.



Proof of Concept

Start with some toy soldiers, 3/4-inch (20mm) zinc-plated steel washers, and refrigerator magnets designed for mounting business cards.

Step 1: Glue toy soldiers to washers. Cut fridge magnets in half and roughen them (including edges) with pumice stone (steal one from your wife).

 Step 2. Paint the magnet pieces and seal them with a light coat of Dullcote.

Step 3. Slather the washers and infantry bases with slightly-thinned spackling compound. Paint, seal, flock. Here we see 3 German groups. Left top: 3-man 81mm mortar team, left center: 3-man HMG team with MG42; left front: 2-man AT team with panzerschreck; center: 10-man armored infantry squad; right: same using different figures (non-counting assistant gunner will be added to each squad that deploys an LMG, in honor of Phil Barker/WRG).

Step 4: Stick the toys on the magnets in whatever grouping is desired. Currently each HW team is on a 29x50mm magnet, and the half-squads are on a 44x50mm magnet.


You can turn them over and even give them a shake without them dropping off. Of course if you whip them hard enough they will come loose, but I see no reason for that to happen.

Lessons learned so far:
I enjoy painting vehicles and terrain pieces, but not infantry so much. I already knew this, but it was re-affirmed.

Put the rounded side of the stamped washer down, to minimize wear on the magnets. Some of the non-rounded edges are very tough, and I'm not filing all of them. Or any of them.

Cut a roundish piece of very sticky masking tape and put it over the hole in the washer before mounting the figure. It keeps the white glue from running down the center (but not over the edges, so leave them on wax paper to dry). Then fill the bottom with white glue or spackle when dry.

For prone figures and team weapons requiring lager bases: trace around the figure/weapon/combo on cardboard (like matte board, or cheap like me and use the back of an extinct steno pad), then trace a washer in the approximate center. Cut out the washer-hole and trim to a snug fit, then cut out the entire base. Use white glue to glue the washer into the base all the way around, then mount the figure/weapon/combo while it is still wet.

Don't try to put transparent tape on the bottom of the washer to protect the finish on the magnets. It will still stick to the magnets for playing, but trying to trim the excess tape from around a ready-to-be-flocked washer, either with scissors or with hobby knife, caused me to knock most of the spackle off, requiring re-painting. If you try this and succeed you must let me know your secret.

Don't bother with cutting magnets into thirds (29x50mm). Even for 2- or 3-man weapons teams it is frequently too cramped due to the weapon base and the frequency of prone positions. They work better on the 44x50mm half-magnets. I think I can get a 3-man Airfix Soviet HMG team on a small one comfortably, but that's probably about it.

Another wacked concept:
I came up with the conceit of using entirely unique figures from my collection to form the armies with no duplicated figures; but it requires over 100 unique figures to make the WWII east front army lists from Thomas' Wargaming: an Introduction. I could almost manage it for the Germans due to some metal figures received in trade 40+ years ago, and using several hard plastic figures I have accumulated from Hasegawa, Fujima, ESCII, etc. But not quite. And for the Soviets it's not even close. I could buy more figures, but I have so many more than I need now I just can't see it.

So for the Germans I am going to try to make each squad not have duplicate figures, and as much as possible not have any 2 figures from the same manufacturer (except weapons teams). If I get tired of the mixed sizes I can always switch around. For the Soviets I will try to make each squad from one manufacturer; at least the size shouldn't be an issue.
 Airfix, Atlantic, Caesar, Eidai(?), ESCII, Fujima, Hasegawa, Hat, Imex, Marx HK knockoffs, Pegasus, Revell and some unidentified metal figures. It's enough to screw around with.

Thanks for visiting.