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Dreadballs of Fire and waiting for Command and Colors Tricorne

Sometimes the work-life balance does not swing favourably in terms of time left to do hobby related activities. This week, and I suspect the next week, will be one of those times.

The little time I did have this week was spent progressing on the Rats for Dreadball and they are now ready for some detailing. When they are done it will give a full Season One painted set-up with 4 teams (including the a full complement of MVPs).  Not great paint jobs but far better than the base grey colour of the plastic and I managed to do it in about 3 weeks of limited hobby time.  The fact that the Little One is into it as well makes it more motivational to crack on with.

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The Little One and I had a few good games of Dreadball using two human teams to get to grips of the rules – and we really like it.  I really recommend the series of videos by Andy2D6 on YouTube, the first one “How To Play DreadBall – Part One: The Board” can be found here.

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Very straightforward Tutorials on the Basic Game of Dreadball by Andy2D6

The following are a few shots from the games we played.  The Little ones blue guys was a bonus we got when we bought another base set of eBay – to add a few more Season 2 teams cheaply.  As per usual he rolled high and I rolled low, his Jacks (all-rounders) were as good slammers as my Guards (heavy hitters) and his ability to use the Strikers was very inspirational.  Nevertheless after a few games we got a nice flow and we really enjoy playing it (did I say we like it?).

 

Since I prefer my hat Tricorne I have been looking forward to the latest version of the Command and Colors rules (e.g. Memoirs 44 and Command and Colors Ancients) called Tricorne Command and Colors – The American Revolution.  I got my copy from Boardgameguru (see here) and I think that is the best deal currently on the net (or at least that I found browsing around).   I have to admit that I felt that the price was a little bit steep but I had already made my mind up and I suspect the first print run will sell out fast and then it will cost even more to get hold of a copy later.

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The rules booklet is downloadable here.   The following scenarios are covered:

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Extract from the Rules and Scenario Booklet

The following units are included (as the classical wooden blocks) to play the scenarios and I am tempted to do something with it in 6mm – at some point in the future. Baccus make all the miniatures needed (link to their AWI range here) and I think it would look absolutely fantastic.

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Extract from the Rules and Scenario Booklet

/ I hope it will be like a Carlsberg – Worth waiting for!  Incidentally I am also waiting for some magnets I have ordered to push on with the Rommel bases (see previous post here).  Have a good week!

 

 

Skirmish Wargames Show, DreadBalling and some Great Britons

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This was a nice weekend indeed, Saturday was spent driving around the Kentish/Sussex countryside and we went to Chartwell House (Churchill’s family home) and Penhurst Place (The Sidney’s family home for more than 460 years) – both well worth a visit.  On the way home we ended up in the Blacksmith Arms (in Cudham) where the comedian Harry Relph was born (1887 to 1928). He performed under the stage name “Little Tich” and was (amongst other things) famous for his routine with very long shoes (see a video here). They had his famous shoes on display in the pub – equally impressive with the Wellington boots we reported on some time ago (see here).  I knew immediately who he was as I had ended up listening to his 1910 recording “What a Risky thing to do” (see here) looking for some background music for a Call of Cthulhu campaign many moons ago.  A great, although not very tall, Briton (a Wikipedia write-up here).  I had a pint in his honour before we embarked on the short journey home.  I suppose you can do your own research on that other great Briton Churchill, if he is not familiar to you ;).

On the Sunday I went to the Skirmish Wargames show in Sidcup run by Redcoat Models(see here) – a small wargames show that occurs twice a year. I did not count the number of traders but call it 15 with about the same amount of wargames tables. The theme was Napoleonics and probably 1 in 4 of the tables were Napoleonic offerings.  I did not take many pictures but here is what drew my interest. I had a good time.

 

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The action around Utitsa from the Borondino 1812 Battle, by North London Wargames Group – 6mm action!

 

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Skirmish Wargames presented a 45mm scale skirmish battle using their “Tales of Derring Do!” rules involving Richard Sharpe and his Rifles, Spanish Guerillas, a female spy and some French Soldiers too.  It looked like everyone had a good time.  There was even a Film Crew present!

 

I played a game with John, who was running a fictional Battle in India with a Sikh uprising supported by French advisors (and some troops) against the British, using the Fire and Fury rules.  John had not laid on a table for 15 years but it did look good when it was all set up.  We used activation for getting reinforcements on the table but we both failed miserably but when we were successful John seemed to be able to get more out of each reinforcement wave – typically the French (yours truly) “spawned” one or two units whilst the British managed to get 6 to 10 units on the table.  It was fun and I managed to get a cavalry unit into the British outpost and steal a cannon.  However, the luck was only short-lived as they ran into a strong group of light infantry (Riflemen). One of those games that gets that narrative kick that makes all the difference in my view.  Many thanks John!, I think the game was yours 😉 .. Great fun.

Finally I had a nice chat with Glen Hardy of Art of War Shirts.  Glen has recently launched his business selling a nice selection of t-shirts that I think some of you may find nice – what I like is that they are nice designs and less in your face than some other offerings.  Do check out his webpage and get a few and/or let your better half and your mates know what you would like for Christmas (you know that any hard ones will be in the wrong scale or period anyway!).  Here is a link to his page.

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As for any progress this week I am slowly doing some DreadBall miniatures (yes I did get a few more teams). Doing Forge fathers and some MVPs this week but no progress on Rommel stuff.   The Better One said to me the other day “I did not know you were into this game now!”, “Been working on it for years!”, I answered back having just ordered a few more teams on eBay.

I based the Forge Father colour scheme of my favourite Swedish Coffee Brand Löfbergs Lila. Purple with some green detailing for strikers, yellow for jacks, red for guards and blue for the Keeper.  Can you smell the nice aroma?

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Talking about Great Britons, I could not avoid to reflect on the likeness with one of the MVPs and a very famous TV personality that recently passed away.  Anyway I let you reflect on your own.

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/ “Nice to see you, to see you nice!”, until next week!

 

 

 

 

Getting Ready for Sam Mustafa’s Rommel – Part 2

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Any follower confused from an earlier update this week of the blog?, I am too. It seems like a series of unfortunate clicks made me publish some kind of blog entry – I deleted it quickly but I suppose you still got the notification – Sorry! 

I did the Great Wargames Survey this summer and I recall it asked about what aspect of the hobby I enjoy the most.  I do like most of the elements of the hobby but the planning/research and the consequential buying stage has a special place in my miniature wargaming heart – it is those stages that invariably has lead to huge piles, or mountains, of obscure books and  unpainted lead.  The trawling through books and surfing the net looking at Orders of Battles and army lists, trying to interpret this to work with whatever rule system you are planning to use is a very rewarding way to pass your time.  In addition the very satisfactory activity of searching for options with regards to models to be used, basing options, terrain and building considerations, etc.  This is then followed by the ordering process, the anticipation, the arrival, the checking and sorting into boxes & bags, ….and then followed by the great betrayal when the boxes are put away in a dark corner with at best a coat of primer added to the miniatures.  Perhaps not a betrayal in the order of that which lead to the fall of Constantinople in 1204, but nevertheless still a betrayal.

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Fall of Constantinople in 1204

After careful deliberation, I respect but I do not envy my friends who buy new stuff only when they have painted the old.  I even know of someone who only buys new stuff when he has finished painted and playing with the old and then sold it. I do understand that there are budgetary constraints and not just a matter of organisation and efficiency that limits the accumulation of lead mountains.  Luckily I can afford a little bit of a buffer (that phrasing makes it sound like something prudent, or even efficient, to do) and occasionally have even offloaded some old stuff and sold it on eBay. However, you guessed it, I end up spending what I make on things I had no idea I wanted, or more unlikely, needed.

Overall this whole thing for me is a mess far removed from any rhyme or reason but I really enjoy it and it takes me to that la la land away from it all – I think that is what a hobby is, or at least should be all about.

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I suppose I am digressing again, and we will shortly be moving swiftly on to some Rommel stuff, …. there is an interesting two-parter on Game Dilution theory (GDT) that you may find interesting, and perhaps linked to the above, on the Meeples and Miniatures webpage, see here and here.

In Sweden we say that it is “..best to forge the iron whilst it is hot!”, so I have been pressing on with the Rommel project (see part 1 here) covering:

  • Decision on base size
  • Basing and Marker Convention
  • Getting on with doing some of the bases for the Deir er Tarfa scenario (that can be found in the Rommel rules or downloaded from here – click on the A SAMPLE ROMMEL SCENARIO link)

I made a few decisions on basing and based on the rules set some ground rules for how I would do the bases and markers, etc.  However with some overdue housework and the season of Rugby starting for the Little One we had limited overall progress on the practical side of things. Anyhow, here we go.

Base Size

To enable standard play on a kitchen table (3 feet wide) you can get away with 110mm squares (this will give a 88cm by 132cm table (Call it about 3 by 4 feet), I decided to go with 50mm by 40mm bases.  This would also work well on larger 15mm squares for a 4 by 6 feet table.  The base size works well for 3mm miniatures.

I have decided to go for 4 tanks on each armoured base.  I got some 2mm MDF laser cut bases from ebay (don’t they smell nice when they arrive?).

Basing and Marker Conventions

I actually do not mind playing with labels and markers, but I do try to minimize this as much as possible, for Rommel the following things are important for the game itself (based on a first pass of the rules).  By the way I really like the format of the rulebook and the overall feel of it – it was a delight to read through.

Combat Strength & Unit ID – this is normally three values (sometime two) that changes as the unit takes “damage”.  I will use the following approach and have a magnetic label under the base that I can move around.  I will also combine this with the unit ID information.

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There is a powerpoint file (link here: rommel) that contains labels for all units for the Deir er Tarfa scenario, that may be of some use (do what you wish with it, you may want to change the texture to fit whatever basing you are doing).

Here are a few shots on how I did my test base.

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I will use my hobby drill for the mass produced ones, here and just made the holes with the knife and put the magnets in the base with stickers on both sides.
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Like this on both sides
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I printed out the file above on a sticky label (sheet with 1 label) and stuck on top of a magnet sheet I had. Make sure the sheet is thin.
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Cut it out neatly, I left a little black around.  You can use a black permanent marker and do some touch up afterward around the label.
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They snap together nicely
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The other side, I put a little bit of the magnetic sheet on the front to make the base “Stable”.

The base below show a base of Semovente 75 Tanks, of the Littorio Division, at full strength (4).  …but what about the armor value(s)?, wait for it!

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A finalised base of Semovente Tanks. The models are the Oddział Ósmy 3mm models (WIT 615 Semovente 75/18 Assault Gun x15), I bought them from Magister Militium in the UK.  I suppose that the added value is that in another level of game where I would like this represent a platoon, I could do so and if needed print out another label with some totally different information and even shape.

Armor value (Armoured units) – this range (based on the lists available) from 1 to 6 – and I will show this with the number of Tufts on each base (where the armor value is different from attack and defense there will be two types of tufts, the darker for attack!).  If you look at the Semovente tank base above you can see this in “action”  (this unit has an armor 2-3, where the two dark bases are for the attack and the 3 lighter bases are for defense).

Barrage (Artillery only) – this range from 2 to 5 and as this only applies to Artillery, that has attack value at 0, I will use Tufts in a dark colour to indicate barrage value and light colour to indicate Armor Value.

Range (Artillery only) – Apart from rocket artillery there are three ranges 8, 12 or 16. Call them short, medium, long and indicate this by the number of towing vehicles on the base, 1 for short range, 2 for medium and 3 for long.  For rockets range will be the number of models (e.g. 3 for heavy rockets and 4 for light rockets) on the base

Legs – some infantry units are not motorized – this will simply be any infantry unit without a vehicle on the base. Other motorised infantry will have a truck on the base to indicate status.

Armored unit – a halftrack on the infantry base indicating status instead of the truck (default for all infantry).

Rare – I will just put three tank models, instead of 4, on each base (as they are rare!)

Self-Propelled Artillery – again based on the model used, towed artillery will have separate towing vehicle(s) on the base.

Infantry Support Capability – these tank models will have a few infantry models on the base.

Rockets defined by model used.

Recon unit – 5 models in a square formation with a leader in the front (instead of the normal 4 – this is normally small vehicles anyway).

Cavalry again will be defined by models used.

Pioneer I do not want to make this into a permanent feature so any infantry unit that will have the ability will be allocated a marker at the beginning of the game. Still to be developed.

Unreliable – one of the tanks will be placed going in a different direction on the base (as it is unreliable).

Other Game Markers

I will make some markers as follows for Supply Points (using some HQ models, lorries and some boxes), Low Supply Markers,  Isolated Marker, Boat, Prepared Positions, Objective Markers, Construction, Fortification and Demolition markers.  More on those later..

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/ Hope that was of some use, I will be riding off towards the sunset on my current hobby horse.

 

DreadBall Season One – Old shiny never rusts

Slow week, again. But nonetheless some progress…

I did put the final touches on the two basic DreadBall teams this weekend, I am now ready for Season One! The season was originally “aired” in 2014 or something like that.  I am looking forward to this! If you know nothing about DreadBall then check it out here.  However if you are late to it, there are other variants and I believe a second edition in the making.  Having had a little look this weekend, the second hand market on eBay is favourable if you want to pick up some of the older stuff.

I promised the Little One a game but he fell asleep long before I had finished splashing paint – maybe we will get another opportunity this coming week! I did put them on the board to see how they would look.  Well what can I say it is me doing 28mm so I feel like the object of that famous Sting/Police song about the possessive lover – Every Breath you Take (slightly modified I must admit).

Every brushstroke you make and every detail you overpaint
Every mold line mistake, every inky stain, I’ll be watching you
Every layer you add, every wash you make, I’ll be watching you

I’ll be watching you!

I am very happy though and the Little One will love thrashing me on the field!

 

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I wanted the RefBot to look a little bit C3POish!  It is a mean looking lady!

 

However, as always, when I do get the finger out and finish an old project I tend to get some new inspiration so I got about 6 additional MVPs from eBay – they are mercenary veteran players that can be used to enhance a team.  The cosmic order will be restored on the lead, or in this case the plastic, mountain.  Old Shiny never rusts!

I suspect I will get the Ratmen (Veer-Myn) and the Dwarves (Forgefathers) team as well in a not too distant future – but I have decided I would do so as a reward when the MVPs are home and dry following the paint job (Sounds far too disciplined, doesn’t it?).  As stated already,  I am looking forward to this and the Better One did say that she would like me to do more sports – so here we go!

I also did some progress on my 6mm SciFi project – the Blue and the Green army.   We intend to give the Future War Commander rules a go using these.

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Next week I hope to start the Rommel bases (as discussed last time here, I got the miniatures this week but wanted to get some things off the workbench before getting into it. The 3mm tanks are SMALL!, but I suppose they should be) and also do some aircraft for the Sci-Fi project as I have some nice models I got before the holiday.  I want each army to have recon forces, infantry, tanks, artillery and air forces to allow combined arms type of games.

And yes I need to get started with this years large GNW project at some point – but not yet!…Not yet! (as Juba said in the Gladiator!).

 

 

/ Take Care