I bought a 3D printer at the end of last year but it stood doing nothing for some time. Work was crazy leading up the Christmas break and during the break I got otherwise engaged. However I recently got it all up and running and how much fun I have had with it.
So far I have printed 1/3000 ships and 1/100 tanks and a lot of 2mm city buildings and walls (but more about that some other time).
The first thing I printed was the ships for the Battle of Denmark Strait 1941, where famously HMS Hood was sank by Bismarck.
These 3d files can be bought from Ghukek’s Miniatures,
I painted them in grey, gave them a black wash highlighted some of he detail with the same grey and painted the deck details with a light brown. I gave the decks a light wash of brown.
For the basing and wanted to get a quick results and painted the base in blue then outlined the bow wave in light blue and some streaks around the boat, then when dry some of the Atlantic blue from Vallejo (it is a modelling paste, link here). Let dry and carefully add some white to enforce waves and wake, and here and there. Really happy how they came out.
We will try these out in battle shortly, I will write about it then. The Little One is reading up on the Naval Thunder Rules.
As you may know I like using adhesive vinyl floor tiles that you can get cheap from Poundland as bases for my terrain projects and have used both the long plank variety as well as the square foot type (as shown in a few old posts, like this one way back (link) or this one (link).
For the Lund 1675 project I want to make a wintery mat (later post) and also add some frozen fields with bushes etc around them. These would be stand alone fields and I wanted to make a test section to see how it would work out using some tiles and well as draught excluders. I got some of ebay, and the smallest one 9X6mm or something like that, they are handy in that they are adhesive. I think they are sent in container from China.
The steps in the captions
Hope that was of some use, these tiles will enhance the table and I will make them bespoke to the scenario and then a few generic ones. They are really easy to make and relatively cheap.
Now I just need to get some more vinyl floor tiles,
Gosh, how do you review 2020? It was a bloody miserable year from many aspects and I think better analysts will summarise the world events like COVID-19, Brexit, American Elections and whether historical wargaming is dying. This review is more personal…
Well given all the time I have had working from home rather than getting into an office my blog activity has been really poor – this is only the 24th blogpost this year, that is about half the number of blog posts I normally do. However I do a lot of mini-blogging on Twitter and sometimes wish that I could link the two in some way. The blog posts feel more permanent and perhaps more like an achievement and gives time for a little bit more thought and wider information compare to doing tweets – I do not know.
Anyway thanks to everyone who follows this blog, the facebook group (not sure what to do with it) and/or my twitter account. All your encouragement has been really helpful this year, keep it up!
In terms of the hobby it has been a fantastic year and a few highlights for me have been playing in Jeremy Short’s Runequest campaign with some great people, attended the virtual Grogmeet that was an absolute blast and again catching up with new and old friends, hosted my own RPG on Roll20 for the Gang running a 28 year old scenario I wrote for the first Dalcon in 1992 (The Dweller in Darkness). Mike Hobbs set up a virtual paint club that I have really enjoyed and again met new and old friends for some casual chat. Thanks to all of you!
The Little One and the Others
The Little One is always up for a Game and playing with him is not something new I have discovered during lock-down but we had a blast playing a lot of games including Chain of Command, What a Tanker, Twilight of The Sun King, Men who Would be Kings, Dragon Rampant and many others. We have even got the rest of the family involved in some RPG and board game fun which I have to say is an achievement, Cheers mate!
Painting for Charity
I also had this idea that now seems like a no brainer about paining an army together as a community projects and try to make some money for charity. Well what a total blast that was and in 2021 we will take it further. This project actually makes me really proud and I take my Tricorne, of is it floppy hat off to all the painters who participated.
Here are some links about the project, including painting guides, etc.
Below a few pictures when we fought a Battle using these two amazing armies, with the help of the Twilight of the Sun King rules.
The high level plan for the project moving forward is
Doing a booklet with the armies
I would like the Army to fight a Battle at a Proper wargames show
Raising monies to Combat stress by doing a Raffle to win the army
More about this in 2021, again thanks to all who participated and encouraged.
Gods Own Scale Podcast
Sean Clarke re-launched the Gods Own Scale following some, I hope positive pressure, from Peter Berry and I. Sean has a relaxed style and brings out the best in the interviews he carries out, his passion shines through and the his list of guest have been varied and some new voices not previously heard, I especially enjoyed the episodes on Irregular Miniatures and Heroics and Ros.
I was invited together with Daniel Hodgson, Alex Sotheran to the Christmas special. It was a long show and I hope it came across like a few hobbyists having a good talk in the pub, because that is how it felt.
After a long and relentless campaign of trying to get Dirk at Grognard Towers to do an episode on MERP he did TWO episodes and he even brought Legend Liz Danforth to the party – what an absolute delight. Dirk also asked me to do a “First, Last and Everything”, you can listen to it in the link below.
The project got some attention from the Dala Radio and it was fun to talk about the project and I wrote about that here. I have also made some suppression markers and jump off points here as well as some river assault boats, here. This is a great project and I will try to start playtesting some scenarios for a Swedish Half-Pint sized campaign in 2021. You can find the latest Swedish Platoon lists here.
I also did some strange base forces for Infamy! Infamy!, more here. This is expanding the Mutant 1984 world in an early era.
I did some cool 2mm bases and that I will use to try out Mark Backhouse’s upcoming rule set “Strength and Honour”. More here. This will be my early 2021 focus.
So for 2021 it will be more of the same, I wish you from the bottom of my heart a fantastic 2021!
But before I go, we had a fantastic game last night and I am too tired for a write-up and there are other things to do, so a few pictures from the Twitter Feed – Another Mutant 1984 diversion using a variant of “The Men who would be Kings” rules, with some freaky events.
One of the scenarios I am envisaging for the “What if”German Invasion of Sweden 1943 project I am working on is a river crossing over the Dalecarlian River (Dalälven) – as it is such a central feature of the county.
The German army used the Leichtes Sturmboot 39 that were small high-powered assuault boats with by an 30 HP “Powered oar” outboard motor, they were used for river and small waterway assaults, crossings and to push pontoon boats. They were mainly used by Engineering typically to form a bridge head to build a pontoon bridge. Below is a small video showing them in use from Youtube.
I made a few improvised boats that I wrote about in an earlier blog for my Continuation War Finns.
Anyway the new ones are based on the actual boats and 3d printed. You can buy the files from 3D wargaming here. You can print out two versions one is an uncovered version (open boat, as can be seen in the video above) I believe the covered versions were used by the Marine. Well in my 1943 campaign they came from some marine units in Norway just before the invasion. I also have some uncovered ones that I will use to “redo” the Finnish ones I showed above. I asked Paul Edwards at Sabotag3d (https://www.sabotag3d.com/) to print them out in 1/100 or 15mm scale.
As for the crew I used some Germans from the lead mountain – yes mine is substantial. For the “drivers” I used pointing NCO or artillery models and for the others a selection of different infantry types. As the models are close together pay attention to helmet size as they tend to vary between manufacturers and can look strange next to each other. I cut most of the bases off and also the feet or parts of the legs to make some interesting positions. In reality the were probably less obvious targets when crossing in them but I think you agree that it looks nice and dramatic in the pictures below.
I added a base to them and painted the boats in a dark and light grey, most pictures indicate this type of camouflage pattern being used. I tried to create some effect of water and some foam by painting the bases dark blue, the drybrushed with a medium blue before adding some vallejo Atlantic water effet, finally I paintes some white to represent the foam. Here are the finalised pieces, I am really happy with them.
During the hostilities of WW2 the Royal Swedish Army was undergoing a number of changes and the most significant at the Platoon level was the 43M reorganisation. This organisation was ordered for the Army in 1940. The objective was that all units would have completed this reorganization by 1943. This re-organisation introduced more fire power to the Rifle Section by equipping the NCOs with SMGs and adding 2 No. Semi-Automatic rifles to each section. Further firepower was also provided by the introduction of a fifth Specialist Section with a 47mm Mortar team and an Anti-tank rifleman to each Platoon. In addition, a rifleman per section was a designated Sharpshooter and had a scoped rifle.
These lists allow you to field a normal Rifle Platoon (Skyttepluton) or a Ranger Platoon (Jägarpluton). The latter was more than often used to do specific recon missions and to distress the enemy.
These platoons would most often march onto to the battlefield, with a platoon cart and a horse. Some platoons may be equipped with bikes and some may even be driven to the battlefield in a truck.
The changes were gradual, and we suggest that the player can choose to play either the 1940 to 1943 or the 1943 to 1945 Rifle Platoon for the 1943 campaign.
You can download the latest lists in a PDF format below (they are work in progress, if you have any views or suggestions let me now).
In a recent blog I set out my idea on how I would use the excellent Too Fat Lardies rules in the Post-Apocalyptic era following the Pyri-Commonwealth Monster Hunters in their role of protecting the civilised parts of world against the marauding wild gangs and monsters in the forbidden zones. You can read more about it in an old blog here.
“Some of you may recall the Pyri-Commonwealth Monster Hunters I have been doing for my warped Mutant 1984 project (based on the first version/incarantion of the Swedish RPG, now known as Mutant Year Zero). Well my take on Infamy!, Infamy! will be to expand my Monster Hunters and detail their exploits in the early days of the Pyri-Commonwealth when they fought for the Emperor against feudal warlords, wild beasts and marauding mutant warbands in the forbidden zones – trying to re-build a lost civilisation.”
I have been working extensively on this project since that orginal post when I had two units of Pyri-Commonwealth Soldiers.
Based on the Early Imperial Roman Legion Force in the Infamy! Infamy! Rulebook.
I am fielding this with 4 Groups of Monster Hunters (Legionaries) and 1 group of Auxiliary Archers. Will add some Auxiliary options in the next phase.
Here some pictures of the individal units.
The Laug Gang
This is a Marauding gang causing all kind of problems in the area, the are based on the Gaul list.=, with 2 Groups of Cavalry, one group of Elite Warriors, two groups of warriors and one group of tribal slingers.
In doing the cavalry groups I used Oathmark Wolfriders and then use all kind of things from the different sprues and the kit box. Basically buy some loose sprues and just mix it up (there are some WW2 helmets and more modern hat thrown in there for good measures, as well as the occassional animal head and additional limb). The same approach was used for the other Groups and they are a mixture of basic bodies, arms and heads. I wanted to create a non-uniform look apart for the elite warriors that I painted with a base Jade colour.
Next I will be working on some additional units and support options. Having fun!
Another weekend coming to an end, but some hobby time was found.
Mark Backhaus, who you may know as the General of the Denswe Army of the Charity Project I am running (or perhaps as the chap who turns out all those interesting articles in Wargames Soldiers and Strategy) asked if I wanted to do some playtesting of upcoming ancient rules Homunculus Est using my collection of Punic war 6mm stuff. Of course I was! I will play test it with the Little One.
The rule set aims to be a fast resolution Ancient battle wargame, playing very big battles on smallish tables. It is specially designed to be played in smaller scales creating a spectacle of big formations battling each other. Mark has done some amazing bases showing massed formations in 2mm and although I do have miniatures to try out the rules in 6mm I thought I could have a go at making a few big 2mm bases.
I ordered a starter pack of 2mm Romans from Irregular Miniatures (link here) to have a see how it would be to work with the scale. I had a done a try as few years ago and I did not like it, it felt like there were just small blobs shaped in some kind of manner to look like something but too small to get into some detail, compared to the 6mm and above I was used to.
However I have been blown away of some of the works done by some of my friends recently like Mike Hobbs, Vlad Seabrook-Smith, Sidney Roundwood and Mark himself.
The trick is just the same as I found in my large 6mm battles where I try to create a spectacle reminiscent of the old battle paintings that fascinated me as a youngster (here are few examples). It is really about focusing on being artistic to reach something looking realistic. A massed line of 28mm miniatures will look realistic but you need a bloody big line to really give the realistic look of a “big” battle.
Anyway some pictures and some narrative how my little test base went.
On the whole I am really happy with this and will get some more to do the bases for playtesting Mark’s rules using 2mm big bases, my notes are:
I will be using 100mm by 50mm bases (slightly smaller than the one used for this project)
I will use an early Imperial Roman formation for Legions
I will use another base coat and will spray the base with Matt Brown before I start painting it and make the bases look a little bit greener, more like my normal 6mm bases.
I will also need to make some warbands etc.
It will be fun and they paint up very quickly, possibly a little bit longer doing warbands assuming differing shields and clothes, etc.
Infamy! Infamy! Mutant 1984
I wrote last time about my take on Infamy! Infamy! setting it in my childhood haven of Mutant 1984 (more here). I did do my first unit of some cavalry in my Laug Warband, loosely based on the Gauls in the rules.
These are the Red Riding Wolf Riders and were made using a combination of Oathmark Wolf riders, some ancients plastic sets and some WW2 plastic sprues and some animal heads from Sally 4th.
/ Hope that was of some interest! Have a good week.
I realised that most of the recent blog postings have been about what has turned into a most excellent project – the 6mm charity fun (see here for example). There has however been a lot of other goings on with the little free time I am enjoying at the moment.
The Little One and I have done some testing of Two Fat Lardies latest rule set “Infamy!, Infamy!” (link here) and it is really good and inspiring – I especially like the difference in how the units fight. Yet again a quality product. It is basically covering late Republican Romans and early Romans and their fighting against the barbarians. I have used some of my 6mm ancients bases but really fancied doing something a little bit different and perhaps unexpected.
Some of you may recall the Pyri-Commonwealth Monster Hunters I have been doing for my warped Mutant 1984 project (based on the first version/incarantion of the Swedish RPG, now known as Mutant Year Zero). Well my take on Infamy!, Infamy! will be to expand my Monster Hunters and detail their exploits in the early days of the Pyri-Commonwealth when they fought for the Emperor against feudal warlords, wild beasts and marauding mutant warbands in the forbidden zones – trying to re-build a lost civilisation.
On the other hand I have used the same setting for playing Sharp Practice but at later stage of development, more here.
Never mind, back to the orginal thread…..
Some background to Mutant 1984 here.
Basically following a deadly and incurable epidemic caused by samples from a mission to Mars the human civilization collapses. The survivors build enclaves and start experimentation on humans and animals, in effect creating mutants, to see how they will survive outside the enclaves. However conflicts arises between the enclaves and it leads to a nuclear war sealing the fate of the world.
Fast forward a few hundred years and the from the ashes new civilizations start to emerge with mutated humans and animals, some “pure” humans and even some mutants with mental powers. There are remnants of the old worlds scattered all around, and some androids/robots from the old days are still around. In addition there are certain areas where the effect of radiation has left some strange effects on the flora and fauna and these areas are called “Forbidden Zones”.
The game is set in Scandinavia, but not as we know it today, and the general level of new technology is equivalent to that of the 19th Century, give or take. There are steam engines, muskets and some emerging rifle like weapons, heliogram for communication, etc. Some of the old technology has survived but is rare.
From a Blog entry some years ago, link here for more.
So, basically I have a few of the Monster Hunters already done. They will basically be the equivalent of the early Imperial Romans – drilled fighters.
I have also ordered a fair few sprues of differernt ancient and fantasy plastics that I will make into mutant warbands – mixing, swapping and adding the occasional animal head . Similar to the blue men we used for our Christmas Great White Hunter fun that were based on a set of native americans from warlond. I think it will be perfect.
I have also made a few other units that perhaps not necessarily will form part of the Infamy! Infamy! stuff, but as enhancers for the overall project, first the Anti-Monster Unit. I recently came across a picture of some Roman Re-enactors with a MG-34 machine Gun. I thought it looked funny and decided to get a similar feel for the Monster Units, but instead of a MG using an Anti-tank gun. So I got his nice piece from Warlord Miniatures and slightly modified things!
However old tech is not always reliable…
Another of those funny monsters from the old Mutant 1984 book is the Land Shark that is tunnelling through the earth and throwing itself up on unsuspecting travellers. How does it do that?, no clue but I did not worry about it when I was twelve and I do not really care now either.
Some time ago I got the miniatures from the Aftermath Kickstarter by https://puttymonkey.com/ – the range is based on some of the art from the Aftermath Rpg from back in the day. Really fun to paint the characters from that iconic cover. They fit straight into the Mutant 1984 madness.
/Hope that was of some interest, next time I will hopefully present the first finished bunch for Infamy! Infamy! Postapocalypso Mutant 1984.
Following on from the last update (link here) when we had about 60% completion we are now well over 80% there, with 36 of the 44 entries sent in. The Denswe side is in the “lead” with 19 of the 22 units in total vs the Siarus Army at 17 of 22. However the Siarus miniatures was sent out a week after the Denswe ones so this would be expected.
So we are waiting for another 8 contributions to complete the armies, there is really no major rush but hopefully we should be there soon. The King of Denswe, did have a letter delivered by the charming Colonel of the Klarkling Regiment giving an explanation of his delay.
A background to this project can be found here. And a number of painting guides has been produced, a good start is this one as it contains links to the other ones.
I pray thee foregive my tardiness in moving my regiment to your positions. We have suffered such deprivations upon our march that we have resorted to eating our horses.
My men are the finest that Denswe has to offer and they will take pride of place in the line to push back the foul forces of the enemy. I myself, will be cheering them on, though I fear not from the front lines as I had wished. Unfortunately I twisted my ankle whilst boar hunting, and I am abed, in the care of Madam Pomfroy, who has provided board and lodgings within her estaminet.
How I wish I could see my boys, in the finely cut coats, marching to glory! I shall raise a glass when the hour comes. Anyway, I must now sign off. Madam Pomfroy tells me it is time for my bed bath and I must not disappoint her.
Tally ho, and here’s to today’s fox!
Your obedient servant
Army of Denswe
Needless to say the King sent out a detachment to recover the Colonel and for him to heal his ailment in camp. We will present his regiment in the next update.
This update will focus on the Command Bases as we received the minatures by Sidney Roundwood this week and they are really nice indeed. I decided to do a more elaborate basing than I had done for the Denswe command bases and that led me to update those as well.
Any way here is how they turned out.
For the trees I have a number of small trees ordered from China and I just add some more scatter on top.
And for the other type they are the railway modelling type of fir trees that when inspected closely look like the bottle cleaners I used to clean my children’s baby bottles, but again you can, if you wish make them look less so. They look fine without the scatter but for that Command base I felt obliged to do better.
Anyway here is how they turned out in some more detail:
I think they look great! I have use my standard “trick” for doing these photos with a background as described in an old blog, link here.
As I said I added some more details to the Denswe bases too, here they are:
/I hope that was of some interest, the two armies are presented in some detail in a previous blog post, here.
A background to this project can be found here. And a number of painting guides has been produced, a good start is this one as it contains links to the other ones.
Following on from last weeks update (link here) were we had about a 25% completion we are now well over 60% there, with 26 of the 44 entries sent in and there are many more on the way. The Denswe side is in the “lead” with 15 of the 22 units returned vs the Siarus Army at 11 of 22. However the Siarus miniatures was sent out a week after the Denswe ones so this would be expected.
I said last time the small notes that have come with the models have been fun to read and put a smile on my face (thank you all for these).
A few of the painters has written about their experience on their blogs and here are a few I am currently aware of (let me know if I have missed or forgot any):
This weekend I started putting the flags on the infantry and based all the other miniatures that had arrived to date. The flags were designed with Sidney and Mark for their respective Imagi-Nation. We will publish a little booklet supporting the project later that will contain information on all these flags, painting guide etc.
The booklet will also discuss the particulars with the two armies for playing them with the Twilight of the Sun King rules that Nick Dorrell has developed. Nick is one of volunteers doing a units (see the picture below).
The key design philosophy is to create two armies that may look similar in terms of composition on the table but being totally different in terms of play (remember that we orginally based this on two identical starter army sets). The Denswe army has a number of powerful trained charging units, but also an element of more traditional units that are wavering (i.e. lacking loyalty as allies) and an element of raw units (the fanatics) facing a more traditional army as we would expect in a Horse and Musket battle between say 1680 to 1710. I think the stats and general gist of the army could be easily translated to whatever your rule system of choice is for the period.
Here are a few of the units completed this weekend (we will do a full presentation of all of them once the armies are complete, this is just a random selection).
Someone asked me last time how I add the backgrounds to the pictures, this old blog (link here) will show you the very high tech rig I am using.
And I almost forgot, what about the Siarus management team. Well Sidney tells me they are on their way and damn fine they look too.
/ Hope that was of some interest, Great stuff all around!
A background to this project can be found here. And a number of painting guides has been produced a good start is this one as it contains links to the other ones.
So all the models has been sent out to the brave painters and I have had the pleasure of receiving 14 of the 44 batches of models already. I will do a presentation of the units in a special blog update once the armies are completed, so today is just an overview of where we are at. So the project is now about 25% complete with 7 entries for the blue Denswe army and 6 for the red Siarus army (sent out a week later). The Denswe king has a arrived and I know Sidney is cracking on with the Siarus Field Marshal. To say that I am proud of the painters would be an understatement.
I have been delighted to get the different small packs of models with small notes that has really given me some good smiles …. (just a good example below).
I have had some helps from the Middle One in making sure I do not mix everything up in getting on with basing them all.
I got my sand, paints and grasses out and got on with the basing.
I find basing someone else’s models like holding a little baby the first time – it freaks me out. But I got over it.
Ok I said I would not do a presentation of any specific units, well I changed my mind, here are 3 of the mounted ones and the Denswe King (I will do the flags for the infantry in a batch when I have more).
/ Hope that was of some interest, Great stuff all around!
This is the third painting Guide supporting the 6mm Charity project that has now started (you can read more about it in a previous blog here). There will be a total of 4 painting guides, covering Horse, Dragoons, Foot and Artillery of the Baccus Wars of the Sun King Range. Here some links to the other ones.
We will start this one at Step 5 – which is the painting stages (I highly recommend that you read Step 1 to 4 in the First painting guide as it covers some things that are important in preparing the miniatures and yourself for the challenge, a link is provided here).
Starting with the Dragoons that is very similar to the Horse in Guide 1 (the main difference being a drummer instead on the trumpeter and the troopers are holding their muskets not the swords).
Step 5 – the Painting (depending on how you access this you may just see one picture, but it is a slideshow with the steps)
/ Hope that was of some interest, oh and by the way, here they are on their base.
JUST A NOTE TO SAY THAT ALL SLOTS ARE NOW FILLED FOR THIS PROJECT – THANK YOU ALL WHO HAS VOLUNTEERED FOR THIS. MINIATURES WILL SENT TO YOU SHORTLY AND I WILL GET BACK TO YOU WITH FURTHER DETAILS.
Let us build some small armies together..
This is a long post and in summary it invites you to participate in a community effort to paint one base of 6mm miniatures to support the building of two opposing armies in 6mm – provided free by Baccus 6mm. You will then send back the painted miniatures and they will be based up in a unified manner and a few battles fought with them and then they will be sold-off and the proceeds given to the Combat Stress charity. Whether you painted 6mm or not previously is not important and I will provide some painting tutorials in future blog posts. With this I hope to share some of the Joy of Six I have had over the years (unfortunately you can only participate this time around if you are based on the UK – Sorry!).
A lot of us, assuming most people visiting this blog are wargamers, has had a few hobby outings this year that have been cancelled due to COVID-19. I have been looking forward going to the excellent Lardy Event in Evesham, showing off the Poltava 1709 Battle at Salute and a few others. However my favourite show in the year is when we all go up to Sheffield and share the joy of six at the Joy of Six. This is the annual show focusing on the 6mm scale and was scheduled to take place in on the 5th of July this year. It was recently cancelled for the right reasons, but will be back next year.
I was going to take my old Fraustadt 1706 board this year, with a few modifications, and play the example scenario in the Twilight of the Sun King rule set. It was the first big 6mm project I completed and still one of my favourites.
I have had so much fun with the 6mm scale in doing my various projects over the years and all the other positive aspects I have had as a result in terms of meeting some great people, seemingly inspired some of them as well to get into 6mm, been invited to podcasts to talk about this passion, etc.
Here the podcasts I have had the pleasure of sharing my love of 6mm with:
Contrary to popular belief I am still very much doing 6mm projects, and I wanted to do something to share the Joy of Six, so I had an idea. I would like us as a community to paint up two 6mm armies and I need your help. I do not care if you are a hard core 6mm fan or just want to give it a go for fun.
I would like you to either paint one base worth of infantry (24 No. miniatures), cavalry (9 No. miniatures) or a set of 4 Artilley bases (16 No. miniatures and 4 guns). These will be from the Baccus Wars of the Sun King range, that I have used for my Lund 1676 Project – they are some fantastic models. Here are some of the ones I painted (more pictures from an earlier blog here).
Each army will consist of (pictures from the Baccus home page): • 8 units of foot – 8 persons
• 6 Horse – 6 persons
• 6 Dragoons – 6 persons
• 4 artillery bases – 1 person
Times two, that is a total of 42 available slots.
The picture below show these kind of bases in relation to a 28mm (from Crooked Dice) and 15mm (from Peter Pig) model.
This is the look of each army (this is a Saxon army from the Great Northern War/WSS range).
It works like this:
(i) You will register your interest by contacting me on this blog rollaone.com – use the contact form (there is a link on the top), leave your e-mail address and state that “I want to paint some 6mm” (unfortunately you can only participate this time around if you are based on the UK – Sorry!). I will contact people on a first come first served basis and ask for your address so the miniatures can be sent to you, either 24 infantry, 9 mounted or 16 artillery men with 4 guns (this will be random to make things easier). Please read and understand the “A few notes” below.
Once I have a full list of people and addresses I will share this with Baccus who will be sending out the miniatures. Hopefully this should not take too long.
(ii) You will be sent a pack of 6mm miniatures (at no cost to yourself), paint them based on some general guidelines, you will then send them to me (at your cost) and I will base them up in a uniform way, attach flags to the infantry, and we then have two small armies ready for the table top.
(iii) I and the Little One will play a few battles with these armies and report the outcome on this blog.
(iv) We will then offer up the armies for sale on ebay (or similar) with the full sale price less the auction site costs, going directly to Combat Stress Appeal. Not because I necessarily think, but do hope, it would bring a substantial amount of financial gain, but because it is a good thing and also because this is not done for any personal gain but for the Joy of Six.
A few notes:
It would be great to have you onboard, but please only do this if you intend to take the time to paint up the miniatures and send them back in a reasonable timescale, say maximum 4 weeks from receipt. Even if you do not participate in this you can still get into the fun and follow the progress on the blog and/or twitter.
This is not a painting competition, this is about painting the units and building the army. I know that styles, skill and approaches vary but one of the things I hope this will prove once and for all is that when these 6mm armies are put on the table with uniform bases and we take as step back it does not matter who painted what – it will look like a battle is ready to commence.
I will, in further blog updates, provide generic guidelines for the two armies, they will be imaginary and the idea is that you will be given a coat colour (say red or blue) and a cuff colour (each being different). You can paint the hats, brims, socks, pistol holsters, etc, in any colour you like, perhaps your officers have different coats, etc. This to make some uniformity to the armies but giving you some freedom in making your own choices.
There will also be painting tutorial for each of the elements (horse, dragoon, infantry and artillery) and make it available on this blog in a few weeks time (in line with the miniatures being sent out), this will be a simple straightforward optional approach that you may want to adopt in doing your set.
In addition I have asked Sidney Roundwood and Mark Backhouse to paint the leaders for each army. Mark and Sidney are both well-known profiles in the hobby and I am delighted to have them onboard. Here some links to some of their many contributions to the hobby.
Also a very big thanks to Peter Berry of Baccus who is providing the miniatures for free and will be sending out all the small packages at his cost.Link to Baccus Home Page
I have initially published this here on my blog, but also on the Wargames Website and the Lead adventure forum and on twitter (Per at RollaOne, @roll_a_one). I decided to go for a more generic audience to start with and depending on uptake, I may share this is on more 6mm specific forums later. I am not sure what the interest may be and I am sorry if you wanted to have a go but it was too late. You can still follow the progress on the blog.
This is a very short-worded blog, but instead I hope the pictures will be of some interest, perhaps the “winteriness” will give you some relief in the heat. This is the Danish and Swedish armies for my Battle of Lund 1676 project. I finished them earlier this month and the next step will be to make some specific terrain for the battle. More about this project later, all models are from the Baccus Sun King range (link here).
/ That was all for now, a closer inspection of the units in the next update!
Writing this after another day working from home during the Corona lock-down in Greater London – I am happy to report that my immediate and extended family are all ok. It all feels very surreal, and I hope as always that this blog will give you a few moments of being away from it all in a safe place.
More pictures from the Dalarna 1943 Project and being contacted by Swedish Radio
A note on my appearance on the Grognard Files
I was contacted by the Swedish Radio last week, their regional Dalarna branch, about this project and recorded a short thing for their morning show today. It made me happy, I hope I did not come across as too much of an idiot whenever it is being aired.
Here is a sound file containing the segment (in Swedish, aired 03 Apr 2020)
A lot of recent progress on this project as I have finished the third batch of Prints from Sabotag3d (link here). I am really happy to see that Paul has been shipping some round pole fences (gärdsgård) over to Sweden and consequently me not being the only one fascinated by this type of Fence. So if this appeals to someone get in contact with Paul and see what he can do for you, he makes these fences in 1/100 scale (15mm size miniatures) as well as for 28mm miniatures. But I suppose you can get them in any scale you like – it really takes us straight into the Dalarna landscape of old (and new) without to much leap of faith. We should also add that Paul also did a few damaged sections for me, to be used to illustrate the impact of an explosion or that a tank has driven through them.
Last time around we had done the basic village tiles and the round pole fences and it allowed to create something like this (there is a link here to an earlier blog that covers this is some detail and talks about the Falu Red colour used for the houses, etc).
For further detailing I wanted to have some mail boxes, typical of the Swedish country side. So I sent Paul the idea and as always he returned a fantastic little print (truth is that the state post box may not have had the colour scheme and the symbol at that time, but I felt it just needed to look that way).
Milk of course was collected differently in those days and milk churns would be standing on tables alongside the road, ready for collection on the morning.
The centre of the village is the Lanthandel that would sell you the supplies you needed.
And finally a little petrol station, probably not that operational due to rationing, but again a not to uncommon feature in the Sweden of 1943.
On top of this I have spent some time doing further features to add to the landscape and increase the immersion factor on the table.
We laid out another table and had a game with the Little One last weekend (using the Chain of Command rules by Too Fat Lardies, link here) and then we did a lot of shots of vehicles because we could.
A Little Game
Some random shots of Swedish WW2 Vehicles
The Grognard Files – First, Last and Everything
For you not familiar with the Grognard files here is Dirk’s own summary what it is all about (stolen from his webpage).
I’m Dirk the Dice and this is the GROGNARD files podcast, talking bobbins about table-top RPGs from back in the day and today. The Armchair Adventurers are small FRPG group that meet monthly in Bolton. We first got together thanks to a ‘small ad’ in WHITE DWARF in 1983. We got back together in 2010 to play Call of Cthulhu Masks of Nyarlathotep monthly for 3 years. Playing again reignited our passion for RPGs, so we returned to some more classic campaigns from our teenage years: RuneQuest BORDERLANDS, Traveller ADVENTURE, RuneQuest GRIFFIN MOUNTAIN and Call of Cthulhu FUNGI FROM YUGGOTH. Our interest began to shift towards what had happened to RPGs during our period away from the hobby.
I have been, in a friendly way, been pestering Dirk to do a podcast about the Middle Earth Roleplaying Game for a long time (check out #grogmerp on twitter if you do not believe me). Last month he released part 1 of the MERP (Middle Earth Roleplaying) show and he asked me to do a “First, Last and Everything” segment for Part 2 – that is a presentation of my first, last and overall favourite RPG games. I went for (because it is true) the first being the old Swedish RPG game Mutant (from 1984) that I have written about here on a few occasions (link some of it here, here, here and here), MERP as it is the last one I played and you can find out more about it in the two Episodes below, my everything is the classic Call of Cthulhu Rpg.
Here are the links to the two parts of Episode 36 – Middle-Earth Role Playing (MERP) with Liz Danforth:
I did write a script for my part and it is appended below would you be interested, it may be cool to listen to it first though.
/ As always I do hope that this was of some interest, stay safe during these and any other times
First, Last and Everything
Hi, My name is Per and I am delighted to deliver my first, last and everything. You can find me on Twitter as Per at RollaOne or on my blog rollaone.com.
It was 1984 and I was 12 and my slightly older cousin Mika was visiting us in our little provincial town in the heartlands of Sweden, Dalarna, where if you take the wrong fork you may come upon a lonely and curious country, in areas that remind you of some Lovecraftian environment – desolate, quiet and with the occasional character sneaking around, or looking through the windows with empty stares and some doors hanging on rusty and consequently noisy hinges blowing in the wind. These are places where they say shoot-dig-keep quiet – that kind of thing. I mean all that Nordic Noir crime stuff must have come from somewhere? But most of it are quaint red houses with white trimmings, surrounded by, wait for it, round pole fences.
He, my cousin, cajoled me into buying this new game that he had played called Mutant, a game set after the catastrophe in a future Scandinavia. You could play as mutated humans & animals or be a robot from the old time (but with a messed up memory bank, with a tendency to obey orders from pure humans or those who had not too obvious mutations – later I learned they were programmed to follow Asimov’s 3 robotic Laws). You could also be a PSI-mutant with mental powers, shunned by most people with or without fur. They were like magic users but very often with defects like madness or confusion triggered by failing to use a mental ability – making it very frustrating at times, or pure (non-mutated) humans considerable sturdier and more clever than we are today and with a patronising at best to a disrespectful view on mutants. The society that had risen was roughly at the technology level of the early 19th century – you could arm yourself with a musket if you had the cash but equally common were a baseball bat and an old bin lid, or traffic sign with a moose, as a shield. It was a more organised society than in movies like Mad Max – things had calmed down. There were forbidden zones to adventure in and the dungeon equivalent were old research labs or other underground facilities with the chance of finding old tech, crazy cyber computers, frozen people from the old times or mutated beasts – sometimes all at once. The dragon equivalent were giant beetles and land sharks that swam through the earth It was my fist role-playing game and we had never heard about anything like it and it also came with some funny looking dice, but no gaming board. Just a little cardboard sheet that was used to resolve whether the character understood what the old tech item he has just found was. My cousin had never GM:ed before and actually as it turned out he had never played the game – however he spent a day reading it and the following evening a few friends and I made some characters – mine a mutated moose, a hunter, with a big club and a musket – then he very ably played us through the introductionary scenario “Mission in Mos Mosel” until the small hours ….it was love at first play….
This game has evolved to what today is known as Mutant Year 0, and a number of the modern products has given more than a nod to the old modules and adventures.
However we quickly advanced to non-Swedish rpgs – it was not as cool to play the Swedish games – at least not in those days.
We went on a School trip to London in Year 9, this was 1987, and the trip was funded to not a small part of us selling loaves of home baked breads outside a local shopping centre and we also set up a school show and invited all the parents and students – I and yet another cousin and fellow gamer Sebastian played two drunk characters and we made some crap jokes pretending to be pissed and we had a grand finale with the song “Shut uppa you face”, by Joe Dolce. In London we, equipped with a Summer of earnings from working for the local council’s real estate department cutting lawns, bushes and collecting rubbish, delivering leaflets at weekends or selling the Sunday issues of a broadsheet newspaper, bought a lot of RPG games and modules from Orcs Nest (still on Earlham Street today), Games Workshop and The Virgin shop on Oxford Street. We got Judge Dredd, MERP (Middle Earth Roleplaying Game), Call of Cthulhu, and “who ya gonna call” Ghostbusters, Top Secret, Chill, Timemaster, Paranoia and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying and god only knows what else, I remember the only non-rpg stuff I bought was the God Save the Queen single by Sex Pistols and Bob Marley’s Exodus (movement of Jah people).
But also a shout out to the Amazing swedish shop Hobby Huset in Uppsala – they had an amazing selection of RPGs in their catalogue and excellent shipping service. We sometimes even took the 1.5 hour train trip and visited the cellar it was located in and got some strange stuff from the bargain bucket. It was this shop that really opened up the hobby for us country boys.
We played so much RPG games in our youth, in people’s houses but eventually in a shed with a heater that made it bearable. We hated splitting up the group as we had to stand outside in the bloody cold freezing our Dirks off (remember this was Sweden when we had proper seasons). Later we asked our school if we could use one of the class rooms in the evening and weekends and the head teacher gave us a key and we had a hell of a good time. We had a good group with a few changes along the way, but then playing in death metal bands, national service, university education, and moving abroad split the old gang. We had our ups and downs but now 30 years or so later I can only recall the positive aspects, so to my old Grogsquad Jonas, Petri, Sebastian, Tommy, Thomas, Magnus, Micke, Reidar, Erik, Petter, Christer, Anton, Fredrik and the guy who only came once and played Pendragon with us and anyone else I forgot, but also to my new Grogsquad the Adventurers Club led by Dirk, Blythy, Ed, and the Daily Dwarf, I raise my glass of vodka to you all!
Although there was a lot of fear mongering around the Rpg hobby in the mainstream media at the time, thinking we would become too introvert, turn into extremists or jump from buildings imagining we could fly, I think our parents were grateful for the fact that instead of being out drinking moonshine vodka, a speciality of the region, and making the town unsafe, we instead sat in the shed telling each other stories and rolling dice. I think we all turned out ok in the end.
In the day we shared the burden of Game Mastering in our Little but Merry band, but the longer campaigns were usually game mastered by myself or Jonas and one of the first games he ran was MERP – Middle Earth Roleplaying. Jonas was amazing with regards to preparing for campaigns and game sessions and his knowledge of Middle Earth was very deep – he had even read the Silmarillion and the Lost Tales! Later Jonas were to run a very long AD&D campaign (2nd Edition) and although I never really liked the system, his overall campaign with a mixture of shorter episodes, long running plots and reappearing protagonists was probably the best one I ever played. However back to MERP. The rules today feels old-fashioned, being a Lite version of the bigger Rolemaster System but at the time offered us some kind of balance between the always fragile characters in the basic Roleplaying system kind of game and rise of your AD&D characters toward immortality – with MERPs open-ended rolls there was always a chance that an opponent could score critical hits and do some substantial damage whatever the differences in character levels, armour class etc. You had to be careful and not every encounter would be a question of drawing a sword. And the magic system was definitely not Tolkienesque but then Jonas did not allow us to be wizards. But what was more on top of this and perhaps the real legacy of MERP was the many fantastic modules and not the rules. The modules had some fantastic drawings and amazing covers that shaped our vision of this amazing world. There were many talented artists contributing to these modules but for me there are two I would like to mention especially – first the legend Angus McBride who did some exceptional cover art for many of the MERP modules. The second artist is of course Liz Danforth who created an outstanding visual presentation of the various characters, races and creatures of this wonderful world, and by the way a big thanks to you Liz for your support to the #grogmerp campaign on Twitter. But there was more, the modules contained information about the people and lands and it felt like it stayed true to the lore but expanded where there were white spots. Herbs, requires a special mention, and were like modern mobile phone apps – there was an app, sorry I meant a herb for that. It is actually my last RPG, I played and a big part of my recent interest in the hobby.
However, there was only one game that I really really immersed myself into in the day and it was the Call of Cthulhu rpg – I guess it does not need any deeper introduction. The first time I played it was at the RPG club in my hometown that some of us used to go to and play as well as playing with the core group, the club was founded by Magnus Seter and Dan Algstrand who today are well known characters in the RPG Industry. It was an excellent way in getting to know likeminded and try out a wider array of games. The club even run a few conventions and I wrote the Call of Cthulhu Scenario for the first two – with the imaginary titles of – the Shadow in Darkness and the Dweller in the Shadow (You can actually find these on the net, but mind you they are written in Swedish). Our little band played some of the epic campaigns like the Fungi form Yuggoth (later more adequately renamed the Day of the Beast), the Spawn of Azathoth and even the Horror on the Orient Express – although our campaign derailed after a few stops. But for me it was the Arkham county series of books that really made the game come alive – we played scenarios in the Miskatonic Valley – in places straight from the Lovecraft stories like Arkham, Dunwich, Innsmouth and Kingsport. The players included Professors working at the Miskatonic University, a PE teacher who could throw a javelin like no other, a retired Major from the British Army (yes he was a hell of a Marksman with his Webley Revolver), Private Investigators, a daredevil pilot and a Medical Doctor at the Arkham Asylym. The scenarios both readymade and homebrewed focused on local events – it made it more scary and intense when reoccurring NPCs asked for help, suddenly disappeared, ended up at the Asylum, or were found dead. When you could weave in characters family trees into the scenarios with the realisation that great grandfather Elijah Waitrose was a Cthulhu cultist or that Great Aunt Tess Collie was an adventurer lost in Dreamlands. As For anyone who may not be familiar with the literature I really recommend that you read the wonderful but not for the faint hearted stories like “The Call of Cthulhu”, “The Dunwich Horror”, “Escape from Innsmouth”, “The Whisperer in Darkness” and “The Colour out of Space” to name some of my favourites. Yes, having moved on more than 30 years from that initial fascination, I know that H.P. Lovecraft probably was a man I would end up arguing with in the pub – he was a racist, homophobe etc, revealed by studying his letter and analysing some of the stories – I get it! But I was never in it for that, I was in it for the chill, sense of hopelessness in a world full of unknown things that humanity at best had a very limited understanding of, the desperate fight against overwhelming odds of getting either permanently insane or ending up dead. The sheer joy of game mastering a group of seasoned investigators in gathering clues from libraries, local newspapers, speakeasies, weird locals, etc. They, the characters, were never flashing heroes with shiny armour and glimmering swords or caped crusaders flying the flag , they were mostly normal people who endlessly fought on. Call of Cthulhu is my everything!
If you have followed this blog you may recall that I have been working on a project relating to a “What-if” German invasion of Sweden in 1943 through the Dalarna County – where I “incidentally” was born and grew up. There is a good summary of where I got to with this project to date in a previous blog post (link here).
Dalarna, Sweden in 1943 does not look like Normandy or the Eastern Front and one of the challenges to create the immersion is to create an overall look that feels right. A lot of the existing wargames buildings and terrain are not suitable for this theatre – the Normandy buildings looks totally out of place whilst the typical eastern European houses, whilst in wood, does not neccesarily have the right look (the common thatched roof on many of these houses are not really suitable). However I have found a few houses, barns etc that will fit.
The house on the left in the picture and the excellent round pole fences are made by Paul Edwards. Paul does some amazing work (Sabotag3d.com) and future blogposts will show more of the stuff he has been doing for me once I have painted them up.
The other houses shown in the pictures above and below are from Timecast (Eastern European 15mm buildings, link here) and Ironclad Miniatures (link here).
I have also, previously, talked about the typical red colour that was predominant, and still is, in the area – The Falu Red Colour (Falu Rödfärg).
Although the paint fell out of favour in the Urban areas during the 18th century the paint still survived and in the countryside, even today, is still the dominant type of colour.
The origins of the pigments used for this paint was a rest product from the process of calcination of copper ore at the Mines in Falun, in the Dalarna county. In the 16th century it was found that these pigments mixed with lineseed oil and rye flour worked as an excellent anti-weathering and preservative when applied to wood.
The Falu mine itself deserves a mention as it operated for 2000 years and at its most productive phase in the 16-17th century it produced more than 60% of the copper in Europe. It even had its own regiment (with some infantry and cavalry units) during the Scanian War and Great Northern War era.
Every School child in the county visits the mine to learn about its glorious past – today it is not longer a working mine but a fantastic museum with a permanent exhibition as well as the opportunity to travel down to the depths of the mine.
Farm tiles and Gas Wood Cars
As easy way to integrate your built up sections is to make tiles for a building or a set of buildings. This allows a more defined look on the table and makes the buildings blend in better in your layout. I made mine from adhesive floor tiles from Poundland (they are made from vinyl) some acrylic paste (caulk) and sand.
Start by marking up where you want your buildings to go. I also consider the size of the fencing around the farm.
Then it is time to start the messy bits, with acrylics, sand and paint.
But what about these strange cars? Well if you study cars during this era, not just in Sweden you will notice the strange burners on other arrangements attached to the cars. These are utilising wood gas to power the vehicle due rationing of fossil fuels. I have rarely seen these on WW2 tables but very often in pictures so I made a few (based on some Kinder Egg vehicles I bought off ebay).
A game of Chain of Command
A few weeks ago the Little One and I had a small CoC (Chain of Command) infantry vs infantry game (with a tank each) mainly to test out the terrain and how it all looked together, we have a blast and we were really happy with the overall look.
I will let the picture talk for themselves.
Whilst I love playing in Normandy or the Eastern Front I have to admit that there is something special for me with this project in terms of passion and immersion. For this table all it really took was a type or Fence and the colour of the houses to transport us straight to Dalarna 1943.
Yes the whole thing is made up but I am trying to make the rest of it justice. As you may have figured out by now immersion is very important for all the projects I do. It takes an extra effort, but an effort I am more than happy to make.
If you have a what-if idea or a project based on some obscure location spend some time reflecting on how things looked – study photos and find those key elements that immediately gives it away – that is your primary focus for your wargames table. If these items do not exist – consider making them yourself or contact someone like Paul who has the talent to design something in 3d for your, make it printable, print and send it to you! (Sabotag3d.com).
I have had a busy start of 2020 – not the kind of busy I would have wished for but that is how things are sometimes. The lack of blog posts is as a direct consequence to this but I have decided to force myself to pick it up and perhaps publish something every second week as a minimum.
Gosh, the last blogpost was on the 26th December, back in 2019 (If you still remember that year). Although I have been silent here I have actually made some significant progress on the hobby front – so there is a backlog of stuff to write about on the various projects. We will start with the current Big(ish) project – Lund 1676.
Swedish Infantry at Lund 1676
Today we turn back to the Scanian War and the Swedish Infantry that fought at Lund 1676. As for all my Scanian War models I have used the eminent book, Scanian War 1675-1679, Colours and Uniforms, by Lars-Eric Höglund (2002), as my primary source for colours and uniform details – it is not complete but covers most of the detail you may need.
Most of the Uniform detail in the book is straightforward, or in some cases not known, however the entry for the Gestrike-Hälsinge Tremänningar was interesting as it stated “1676: 19 men had yellow coats, 63 green, 50 gray, 53 brown, 38 musk-colored, 15 blue, in addition 2,240 alnar gray pjuk was issues to sew uniforms”. The reason for the different uniform is that this was not a standing regiment and had been raised because Sweden was at war – it is likely that they were issues with spares until they got their uniforms (possibly grey based on the information). So at Lund, late 1676, they may all have been dressed in fresh Uniforms, or maybe there was not time to get that sorted… Well since every other regiment will be in uniform uniforms I thought I go for the latter option. I simply painted the 24 unit base in the same ratio as the different colours above – I think it looks smashing.
We are rushing away… Sorry, the following infantry regiments were present at Lund.
Name of Regiment
Here some pictures of these…
Flagging up your infantry
This is the method I use to attach the flags/standards to the unit.
It has been a little bit of a strange year with a lot of pressures making it difficult to devote as much time as I would like to the hobby – but in retrospect and upon reflection I seem to have been doing a lot more than I thought. I had lots of fun with the hobby and that is what it is there for!
This is a summary blog of the year and contain some additional pictures not covered in any published blogs. I hope you will find this review interesting. I take my hat off for all of you who engage with the blog directly, follow the roll a one page on faceboook (Roll a One, @rollaonepage) or the Per at RollaOne feed on twitter – It really matters to me – so thank you very much. I had as an unwritten rule to do a blog every week, this year I have managed to do 41 blog posts – so I failed the objective but I am happy with that. I could easily have dragged this one out over a few blogs with the extra material but wanted to make a long one of this last one.
The most popular blog post this year was this one detailing how you can enhance your 6mm, or any scale, pictures using your computer screen. Bleeding obvious to me but a lot of people have found it useful!
This blog post has a lot of pictures and links (these are the underlined sections, they lead directly to the blog post I am talking about) and basically covers:
Poltava 1709 and Joy of Six 2019
Battle of Lund 1676 project
Gaming with the Little One and a book from Henry Hyde
WW2 What-if Invasion of Sweden in 1943 and roundpole fences
The Mutant 1984 Project and our Christmas Mutant Dinosaur Hunt
Being on Podcasts and some other stuff
Poltava 1709 at Joy of Six 2019
This was the culmination of a three year project covering the Russian Campaign of the Great Northern War and this year I presented Poltava 1709 at Joy of Six show in Sheffield. This has been a fantastic project and this 16 by 5 feet table actually made me somewhat emotional when I first put it up on the Show (but then each one is pretty special at the time). I did plenty of blog posts about the project this year, you can find them below. We will put up the table again in 2020 at Salute in April. This project was done using 6mm Baccus miniatures.
Here are some of the blog-posts covering this topic ( The last few are the finished article the others about how various elements were done).
Gaming with the Little One and a book from Henry Hyde
I have had immense pleasure in engaging with the Little One yet again this year in painting, playing games and going to a few events together. He even wrote a review of the Airfix Battles Rules and about his day at Salute on the Blog. When I asked him about the highlights this year he told me that it was the book he was sent by Henry Hyde, the day we had playing Mike Whitaker’s Omaha game and doing the Star Wars Legion miniatures (more in the links at the end of this section).
The Little One and I met Henry Hyde at Salute (who of course wrote the Wargames Compendium, was the editor for Miniature Wargames & Battlegames and now runs the Battlegames Patreon Site that I am a supporter of, see link here https://battlegames.co.uk/patreon-supporters/ . Please check it out as there is a lot of good stuff there in terms of podcasts, videos and articles – whether you are a supporter or not).
On the way back Max realised that the Henry we had met was the same guy that had written the Wargames Compendium, a book he really loves, and said that he should have asked for an autograph. I mentioned this to Henry and a few days later, to our great surprise and delight, a parcel arrived with a letter and a book.
It is was an enormously generous gesture and one of those moments I think the Little One will carry with him for his whole life – many thanks Henry! The Little One then read the Featherstone book and wrote a letter he sent to Henry that made me really proud.
Many thanks for sending me the Donald Featherstone book, it was very kind of you and it made me feel very special. I like the words you wrote and I will keep this book forever. It has taken me some time to finish the book as I have had a few other things going on.
I enjoyed the introduction where he writes about ‘what wargaming is’ and also the overview of the different periods for wargaming – my favourite period is WW2. You have so many different aspects of things going on – on land, in the air, on and under the water and you are not sitting around in a trench for four years as in the Great War. At the very end of the book he writes something I really liked! “General Sherman, of American Civil War fame, is quoted as saying, ‘War is Hell’. So it is, and perhaps the wargamer, seeing just how helpless his little plastic figures are against the dice simulated effects of cannon and muskets, will appreciate more than ever the utter futility of real war.”
I also have a copy of your book, The Wargaming Compendium, and I think it is the best book a wargamer can get as it covers everything you need to know. In particular I like the chapter on understanding sizes, scales and chance. I love the picture on page 17 showing the different scales.
I hear you are writing another one and I hope it is going really well!
I know you like the Horse and Musket period so I thought you might like this Kings Carabineer from the Battle of Blenheim 1704 and a book about the Battle of Poltava.
WW2 What-if Invasion of Sweden in 1943 and roundpole fences
Some further works was done for the 1943 German invasion forces and defending Swedes. Making some transports for the Swedes with some tanks (including conversions) and a large number of German soldiers and vehicles. I also updated the Chain of Command list for the Swedes. More in the blog posts below (that is also including a note on the visit I did to Dulwich playing Chain of Command at the Warlords Lardy Day – thanks Iain!).
One of the best things that happened to this project this year was the roundpole fences developed by Paul Edwards (@Amaz_ed on Twitter if you want to contact him, or let me know and I will pass it on) that will enable me to give that special feel of gaming in Scandinavia/Nordic much in the same way as Snake Rail fencing indicate a wargame in North America.
How is this relevant to you if you do not play anything in Norway, Finland, Sweden or Estonia (where these fences are common) – well according to some theories they were in use during Viking times so if you are doing Dark Age wargaming (or Colonials as we Norse call it). So if you want to create that little Norse settlement in your Saga game or some other game including some Vikings and want to make it feel a little bit special than maybe this beautiful fencing will be an idea.
I asked Paul if he could help me out and quicker than I could say Gärdsgård – the name of the fence in Swedish – I now have 4-5 meters of it and I hope you agree it looks good.
The ones I have has been made for 15mm but Paul can make some in 6mm and 28mm too.
These are the ones I will be using for my Scanian War project.
These are a few in 28mm with some Mutant 1984 characters.
Paul also does some gate options.
I have also found a reasonable Vallejo mix for Falu Rödfärg.
Here are some postings for the Swedish WW2 project (as in all my posts there is plenty of pictures in each of them). The next step is to produce two half-sized campaign for Chain of Command (or any other Platoon based set of rules).
In addition we had a special Xmas game this year based on a vote we did on Twitter where the Mutant 1984 Dinosaur won the Day (beating Winter War, Swedish invasion 1943 and a “proper” GNW battle!). We used a variant of the The Men who Would be King rules (the same as in the Border Skirmish above) and it was a fun game with two factions of soldiers and hunters trying to take out as many Monsters as possible (2 Dinosaurs, a Giant Beetle, a Four armed Gorilla, 2 Swedish Tigers, a Dark Young of Stubb-Nigarakan) whilst fighting each other. I did not do a write-up but instead I have included a bunch of pictures from the game.
The Swedish (Sabre Tooth) Tigers are based on the Swedish Wartime information Poster stating “En Svensk Tiger” that means both “a Swedish Tiger” and “a Swede Shuts-Up”.
Being on Podcasts and some other stuff
Any regular reader of this blog will know that I have a few wargaming podcasts that I like to listen to whilst I paint and model – these are in no particular order the Veteran Wargamer, The Lardy Oddcast, Meeples and Miniatures, Havoc Cast Podcast, Wargames Soldiers and Strategy, Wargames Recon, Henry Hyde’s Battlechats and God’s Own Scale Podcast. They are all excellent and whilst I occasionally listen to others, those are my solid ones I will try to listen to every time (I listen to a fair few more non-wargaming stuff like the eminent Grognards RPG Files and We have ways and Audible books).
This year I have been humbled by having been asked to come on three of these shows and talk about stuff mainly relating to the 6mm work I have been doing, but also about wargaming with children and my great passion – the Great Northern War.
A few weeks ago Neil Shuck announced that he will stop the Meeples and Miniatures podcast as he has reflected on the time it takes to do the show and other priorities like gaming with friends etc. Meeples and Miniatures has, in my opinion, become like a wargaming (and Meeples) institution and its legacy is enormous and Neil and the other presenters (Mike, Mike, Dave, Rich and all the guest presenters) should be enormously proud of having created this. I felt so honoured to be asked to attend the show and had a blast – so much that it was enough to fill two episodes (sorry!, but thanks Neil and Mike for having me).
When I listened to Sean Clarke’s episode 0 and he declared that one of his inspirations to starting his blog (focusing on 6mm an history) was the work I have been doing with this blog – it made that and many days last year. I contacted him and asked if I could come and talk to him and we had a great time talking about the 6mm stuff I have been doing but also getting an idea of Sean Clarke’s upcoming WW1 project for Joy of Six in 2020. This is another excellent show and I really like all the episodes to date with many friends from the 6mm trenches. The show with Robert Dunlop (No 3.) is one of the best Podcasts I heard last year. Thanks Sean for my second outing this year – I had an absolute blast.
Henry’s Battlechat has very quickly built up an impressive catalogue of podcasts with a wide range of guests from the industry, rules designers, miniatures producers, artists, book publishers, academics, etc. I have stolen parts of Henry’s intro for this:
“Per is a wonderful ambassador of the hobby, friendly, approachable, intelligent and with a dry sense of humour that you might only notice when you’re halfway out of the door after meeting him! (Watch out for his comment about the Dark Ages being “Scandinavian colonial”!) Here, then, is this Swedish superstar of the hobby in full flow, waxing lyrical about 6mm gaming, the Great Northern War and other Scandinavian conflicts of the 17th and 18th centuries, making snow-covered terrain and the joys of being a wargaming parent.”
Finally I would like to say that my favourite wargaming thing this year was the visit I did to Evesham and OML7 (Operation Market Larden No. 7) – Thanks to Ade et al for this. I met so many nice people and had a fantastic time playing some great games.
80 years ago Finland was fighting for its independence against Soviet Union in what has become known as the Winter War. The war has a personal connection to me as the family on my mother’s side is Finnish. We have therefore fought a few battles using the Chain of Command rules to honour and remember the people on both sides who fought and died in this war.
The war started with a Soviet Invasion of Finland without a declaration of war on the 30th November 1939, the war ended 105 days later on 13th March 1940. More than 25,000 Finnish died and many were wounded. At the end of the War Finland was still an independent state but had lost about 10% of its territory and 12% of the population lost their homes and where re-settled. The Soviet Union’s losses were far higher and somewhere in the order of 150,000. The campaign was badly planned and conducted by the Soviets and the Finns fought bravely and with great skill.
Here are few pictures from one of these battles, somewhere along a country road…
On Saturday the Little One and I had a real treat as we were invited to Mike Whittaker’s Mill Studios (@TaTM_blog on twitter) to play the eminent Omaha Beach game that we had missed to play at Salute this year (see link here). The Little One, Andy (who built the terrain but never played the scenario) and I played the American Side, we were being skillfully empired by Mike who also played the Germans. We
The scenario is from the excellent IABSM scenario book called “Where have you been boys” and can be bought from the Too Fat Lardies website here.
This is scenario Six and in the book and promises “The game will be nasty, bloody and gritty, it shouldn’t be anything else”. It takes place at the eastern end of Omaha beach (Colleville-Sur-Mer) and involves the US 1st Infantry Division – the Big Red One. This is very much the scenes from Saving Private Ryan stuff. The scenario shows the difficulties on the day and for this kind of operation in general. The Germans have relative little Firepower but are in very good protected position whilst the Americans are mainly in the open up to the shingles of the beach, then protected by the cliffs before having to be in the open again trying to get through the wires and mine fields.
The US forces, just like on the day come in waves, and basically first wave took a lot of damage, so did the second but managed to clear some wires and take out some of the nests form a distance, then the final and third wave started to turn the balance. It was a different wargame in that most of the time, from our American side, was spent hoping that the next barrage of artillery, HE guns, sniper fire and MG would not wipe the whole section out and that some of the men who survive and get to the shingles and momentarily be safe. The two Sherman tanks who had made it to the beach did provide some initial fire power but they were soon taken out. It was very sobering and certainly kept to the promise in the scenario book, as it was indeed “nasty, bloody and gritty” and leaves you with a lot of reflection on the terrors facing the men on that day. We had to leave just as the third wave had arrived, but at this time it looked like the first part of the job was done, at least on the side of the beach I was not responsible for (luckily Andy and the Little One had cleared a lot of wire on their side of the board).
Mike had added a few features like General Norman “Dutch” Cota, coming as part of the second wave, who was useful in rallying and getting some moving on where needed and also Robert Capa who took some iconic photos.
A few other memorable moments was the first shot from the Sherman leading to one of the guns in the bunker getting out of action and the off–table German 88 being taken out by some Royal Navy guns very early. In addition the effect of artillery and the way it works is really effectful and realistic (as is the use of HE weapons) leading to units becoming pinned and stopped in their tracks – not based on casualties in itself – I really like this (keeping your head down). Some of my units arrived without leaders and it was difficult to get these men up to beach to do their job – the unit with the leaders fared better but I was let down by some bad dice rolling (rolling ones, who would have believed that!).
What follows are a lot of pictures from the day. I believe that Mike will be doing a write up of his thoughts from having played the scenario a number of times in the upcoming Lard Magazine that will be out later in the year.
All the miniatures were from Battlefront!, except for a few Peter Pig casualty markers.
As for the Little One and I? I think we both would be tempted to do something similar perhaps in 6mm?, one day!
It was a great day indeed, thanks for having us Mike.