Wednesday, January 11, 2017

KNIL Army for Adepticon - Conversion How-To

Hello all.

It's been a while, and since I have been asked lately to show how I am doing my KNIL force so I thought I would show you my simple process.

Little History of The Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger; KNIL)

The KNIL was formed by royal decree on 10 March 1830. It was not part of the Royal Netherlands Army, but a separate military arm specifically formed for service in the Netherlands East Indies. Its establishment coincided with the Dutch drive to expand colonial rule from the 17th century area of control to the far larger territories comprising the Dutch East Indies seventy years later.
The KNIL was involved in many campaigns against indigenous groups in the area including the Padri War (1821–1845), the Java War (1825–1830), crushing the final resistance of Bali inhabitants to colonial rule in 1849, and the prolonged Aceh War (1873–1904). In 1894, Lombok and Karangasem were annexed in response to reports of the local Balinese aristocracy oppressing the native Sasak people. Bali was finally taken under full control with the Dutch intervention in Bali (1906) and the final Dutch intervention in Bali (1908).
In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the KNIL prosecuted the conquest of the Indonesian archipelago. After 1904 the Netherlands East Indies were considered pacified, with no large-scale armed opposition to Dutch rule until World War II, and the KNIL served a mainly defensive role protecting the Dutch East Indies from the possibility of foreign invasion.
Once the archipelago was considered pacified the KNIL was mainly involved with military policing tasks. To ensure a sizeable European military segment in the KNIL and reduce costly recruitment in Europe, the colonial government introduced obligatory military service for all resident male conscripts in the European legal class in 1917. In 1922 a supplemental legal enactment introduced the creation of Home Guard (Dutch: Landstorm) for European conscripts older than 32.
No large-scale armed threat to Dutch rule existed until World War II.

World War II



Dutch forces in the Netherlands East Indies were severely weakened by the defeat and occupation of the Netherlands itself, by Nazi Germany, in 1940. The KNIL was cut off from external Dutch assistance, except by Royal Netherlands Navy units. The KNIL, hastily and inadequately, attempted to transform into a modern military force able to protect the Dutch East Indies from foreign invasion. By December 1941, Dutch forces in Indonesia numbered around 85,000 personnel: regular troops comprised about 1,000 officers and 34,000 enlisted soldiers, of whom 28,000 were indigenous. The remainder were made up of locally organised militia, territorial guard units and civilian auxiliaries. The KNIL air force, Militaire Luchtvaart KNIL (Royal Netherlands East Indies Air Force (ML-KNIL)) numbered 389 planes of all types, but was largely outclassed by superior Japanese planes. The Royal Netherlands Navy Air Service, or MLD, also had significant forces in the NEI.
During the Dutch East Indies campaign of 1941–42, most of the KNIL and other Allied forces were quickly defeated. Most European soldiers, which in practice included all able bodied Indo-European males, were interned by the Japanese as POWs. 25% of the POWs did not survive their internment.
A handful of soldiers, mostly indigenous personnel, mounted guerilla campaigns against the Japanese. These were usually unknown to, and unassisted by, the Allies until the end of the war.

Uniforms:

The KNIL uniform was a cotton jacket with a harness for ammo and other supplies.  They wore a khaki to brown set of let wraps (Puttees) with Black boots like the photo below:


As well as wearing the traditional Dutch Helmet, the jungles of the East Indies made wearing the "Slouch Hate" another common site, more among the Dutch and seen much less in the Indonesian troops, who wore the helmet more often.

The KNIL used the following arms during the East Indies campaign:

Handguns:
Model 1873 9.4mm service revolver.
M1903 Browning 9mm long service pistol
9mm kurz/.380 Browning M1922 pistol [Pistool M25 No.2]
9mm Luger, some German made, others Vickers/British made or assembled.

Service Rifles
Model 1895 Mannlicher 6.5mm rifle. [Basically the same as the M1893 Rumanian rifle] Caliber 6.5x54R Mannlicher.
There were at least seven different carbine variants.
In 1940 quantities of .30-06 Johnson semi-autos were purchased for colonial forces in the Dutch East Indies [Indonesia] and the navy.

Machine guns:
Schwarzlose 07/12 machine gun in 7.92mm.
Among largest users of the Madsen LMG:
Model 1919, 1923, 1926, 1927, 1934, 1938 and 1939 all in Dutch 6.5mm Mannlicher cartridge.
Some Lewis guns from the British in the 1920s, but in 6.5mm.
A few Vickers HMGs.

AT Rifles:
Rifle, Anti-Tank, .55in, Boys

On to the Conversions......

I picked up a box of IJA troops and bought about 9 sprues extra when Warlords had a 50% off plastic sprue sale.   Now, the uniforms are very similar so it's not going to take much converting really more then a head swap and some other finishing touches.

First... the Arisaka rifle is a long rifle at 4'2" and the Mannlicher is 3'3" long...so first thing you need to do is cut this section out.



Then you glue the barrel tip back onto the rifle.  It takes approximately a foot of length out of the gun.





Now I let that dry.  Take a head from either the Ghurkha in Bush Hats or the Chindit heads from Warlord games and take a padded pliers and bend the side of the slouch hat up on the right side



Take all your parts and Assemble them like so.





If you need to add special guns, http://www.companyB.biz sells weapons in their AFV Accessories section, the Boys AT rifles and the Madsen LMG.



You can simply use the empty hands from the IJA sprue or cut existing weapons away and replace with the above.

This is as simple as it gets for the "conversions."   Here are some picts of my Current KNIL Project.


Regular Section of Dutch KNIL with Madsen Support Weapon




And here is an AT rifle Team





And this is a 47mm AT gun using the italian models, which are similar to the KNIL uniforms enough to get it close.  :)






And some WIPs.









I hope this helps!!!

Be sure to check out the Northern Front Podcast   :)






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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

So you want to play Bolt Action?

When playing Bolt Action, there are many times when you have on lookers that sit and watch you play and start asking questions about the game.  And like myself, you will run a Demo from time to time and let new people tryout the game.  Then the inevitable question comes:

"What is the best army to play?"

I am going to break down each army into it's national rules and the pro's and con's to each force as a reference for myself and many like yourselves, who wonder yourselves about the different factions and would like to tell people where they can go to get information on the various Nations represented in Bolt Action.

The Pros and Cons listed have been collected by the men and women on Bolt Action Internation and Bolt Action Facebook Pages.

Belgian
National Rules:
Communication Breakdown
Forward Artillery Doctrine
Hurriedly Conscripted Reserves

British
National Rules:
Bombardment
Artillery Support
A National Characteristic (Choice of 1)
-- Up and ‘at ‘em
--Blood Curdling Charge:
--Tough as Boots:
--Rapid Fire:
--Vengeance:


pros: Artillery is cheap thanks to free observers ect, lots of variety when it comes to elite units (gurkhas, paras, Chindits, commandos ect), 
Cons: lack of heavy infantry firepower, (no HMG or heavy motors, PIAT only has 12" range so anti tank guns are vital), please note I havent really found many cons to Brits as my first games have been against Brits so if others want to add feel free

Pros : Fire support, Free Arty Observer, re-rolls on Bombardments, abundance of the D6 75mm, Cheap mobile Medium Howitzer with the Cromwell CS.
Infantry: good adaptability with the national characteristic rules, Commandos and Gurkhas are quit
e good value for points.
Armour: a good range of tanks that fare well over all time periods,
lots of useful Armoured Cars and the only Allied Super Heavy Tank (other than the Ostfront IS3) . The only Allied Super Heavy AT Gun both on a tank and as an arty piece. Heavily armoured transports in the Kanagaroos. Churchill AVREs can be devastating (but probably not worth the points)
Cons: No multilauncher and pretty ordinary PIAT

Bulgaria
National Rules:
Axis Allies
Counter-Partisan Experts

Chinese Nationalists
National Rules:
Flag
Levy
Bodyguard

Chinese Warlords
National Rules:
Flag
Levy
Bodyguard

Chinese Communists
National Rules:
Flag
Levy
Sparrow Tactics

Danish
National Rules:
Confusion
Waiting in Ambush

Finland
National Rules:
Sisu
Trained Huntsman
Motti

French
National Rules:
Communication Breakdown
Forward Artillery Doctrine
Hurriedly Conscripted Reserves

German
National Rules:
Hitler's Buzzsaw
Initiative Training

Pros: Assault rifles, early & mid war tanks are awesome, flak 88s are fun, Panzerfausts for all. 
Cons: Late war tanks are very expensive points wise, too much abuse of assault rifles(!), FJ aren't all they are cracked up to be.

Pros: Lots of medium and heavy armor with big AT guns or big howitzers, Infantry machine guns benefit from an extra die roll, NCOs get the chance to stay alive when getting hit by exceptional damage ( Brian Ward always seems to save his), lots of assault rifles, the Sturmtiger (never actually used it myself but I've seen Brian wipe out 6 squads in 7 turns with it)

Cons: Lack of national rules is about the only con for the Germans

Pros: Natty uniforms, fancy tanks, funny names. lots of options and nice guns. Useful LMG and MMG's.
Cons: can be perceived as bland as lacking in special rules points heavy, Elite units nothing special. bewildering array of uniforms and equipment

Pro:  An advantage is that they have so many variant vehicles they can always have the right tool for the job.

Con:  their infantry can be very heavily tooled up, with AR, 2 x LMG and Faust's in one section. You could even add fanatics. German players invariably load up with these nice toys which all cost. Nearly always outnumbered. 

Greek
National Rules:
Communication Breakdown
Fieldcraft
Infiltration

Hungarian
National Rules:
Axis Support
Experienced Officer Corps

Pros: None. Maybe getting a single non-veteran German unit that is outside of the platoon selection is okay, but the lack of decent infantry outweighs that and the other national rule is completely useless.
Cons: Germans do it better rules-as-written. Missing 6-8 unit choices that existed in the real army, even simple things like their Jeep equivilent 

Italian
National Rules:
Avanti Savoia
Defensive Strategy


Pros everyone underestimates them
Cons lack of heavy armour and anti tank

Pros: everyone underestimates them. Paratroopers are amazing 
Cons: with avanti savoia without the right list synergy and pre determined strategy things can go very bad for you.

For Miniatures:
Black Tree Design - Italians

Warlord Games - ItalyWestwind - Berlin or Bust - Italians

Japanese
National Rules:
Death before Dishonor
Banzai Charge
Ambush Tactics
Show your Loyalty

For Miniatures:
Warlord Games - IJA

Netherlands
National Rules:
Communication Breakdown
Forward Artillery Doctrine
Hurriedly Conscripted Reserves

Norway
National Rules:
Communication Breakdown
Fieldcraft
Infiltration

For Miniatures:  I would recommend WW1 Austro-Hungarians in field caps
Brigade Games


Partisans
National Rules:
Fieldcraft
Infiltration
Hidden Bomb

Poland
National Rules:
Communication Breakdown
No Hope, No Retreat
Elite Officer Class

Pros:  can have huge squads (mine are 10 man...but 11,12 would work well. Cav...just bad ass kraut on a stick machines...I field 2 squads of 10 one vet other regular. 20mm TKS nice against both a/c's and infantry. I also have a med howitzer for them...it makes up a little for the Cons 
Cons:  no real anti tank...and not surprising late war krauts w/ assault rifles tend to kill them fast...but as I said not surprising there.

For Miniatures:
Gorgon Studios - 10th Cavalry
Warlord Games


Romania
National Rules:
Axis Support
French Artillery Doctrine

Soviet Union
National Rules:
The Great Patriotic War 
Quantity has a Quality all its own
Not One Step Back
Massed Batteries


Pros: Cheap Cheap Cheap, lots of dice and lots of troops. Need to be played aggressively. 
Cons: To get the above, they have to be inexperienced.

Pros: A lot of their AT guns and tanks can be pretty versatile against vehicles and infantry, the free 12 man inexperienced squad with the green rule, lots of AT, body armor
Cons: playing as Russians the only con I've really found is that i love to run airborne squads which use up to many points lolPros: lots of options for any type of unit. Flexibility and flavour. Free 12 man unit.
Cons: can't think of anything tbh because of the flexibility of the choices you can take.


For Miniatures:
Warlord Games


United States
National Rules:
Fire and Maneuver
Gyro-Stabilizers
Air Superiority
Modern Communications


Pros: when played aggressively they are almost historical if the dice cooperate. 
Cons: No BAR's and expensive point wise

Pros: National rules, most of their tanks get the HE D6 rule and gyro stabilizers, Marines are packed full of firepower, BARs, US snipers can be equipped with SMGs should someone come to close

Cons: Besides the Veteran Infantry squad getting tough fighters the American infantry units don't benefit from any special rules like stubborn or fanatics or anything


For Miniatures:
Warlord Games