Just for the record I was invited to the excellent Meeples and Miniatures podcast in May-19 to have a chat with Neil Shuck and Mike Hobbs. I had a very good time indeed and I thought I put a link in this blog post to both parts (episode #268 and #269). I hope it is of some interest.
To be honest I was worried about having something to say, in retrospect I feel that there is so much more to cover – however if anything provokes any questions or is unclear, please feel free to get in touch through the blog and I will try to give you an answer.
I had the pleasure of attending the wargaming event Operation Market Larden 7 (OML7) in Evesham last weekend. I was going to go to OML6 last year but things conspired against me. Luckily, it was whispered, this one was the best one so far.
I arrived the evening before and caught the end of the drinking session at the hotel where the day would be held and a small contingent of us ended up in a pub for far too long – but good times were had.
OML7 is one of the many Lardy Days that are being arranged by various Lardy Ambassadors in the UK and also in many places abroad. Basically there were 12 games being played on the day and each participant played in two games (one in the morning and one in the afternoon). I did take some random shots but have to admit that I was a little bit like a child in sweetshop on the day and focus on the games. I had none of the stresses of a show where I put on a table or where my compulsion forces me to run around and find new shiny. The only thing to purchase were an excellent collection of old books that were being sold to support the Combat Stress charity – I bought a few.
The games played were, of course, all using the Too Fat Lardies excellent rule sets and although the lion share of the Games were using the Chain of Command (CoC) or Sharp Practice 2 (SP2) rulesets, there were also individual games using; I aint been shot Mum (IABSM), Bag the Hun (BtH) and Dux Britanniarium (DB).
I played in an excellent game of WW1 East Africa action as Lt Beaverton in charge of a supply dump on the Shore of Lake Victoria and a force of some Kings African Rifles, a few regular british and a Vickers Team. I was further supported by a platoon of Belgian Force Publique. The Supply dump was being attacked by a company of German troops. Very well Umpired by Bob Connor and the table looked stunning.
In the afternoon I played a Bag the Hun scenario controlling some mighty machines of the Italian Airforce in a joint German and Italian attack on a convoy (somewhere near Malta in 1942) defended by Hurricanes Our side had B109s and Stukas (with bombs) and Machis/CR42s and SM79 (with torpedoes). It ended up with classic dogfighting, bombs immobilising the ships and some torpedoes in the water hitting home but not on the main objective – the tanker – but it was great fun. This game was put on by Geoff Bond and we flew Mike Hobbs wonderful 1/600 Tumbling Dice aircraft – some excellent decaling going on there.
The day was excellent and I met a lot of people which whom I have had interaction with on Twitter and other social media – I did not manage to have a proper chat with all but I really appreciate the ones I had. I do think our little Twitter corner is a wonderful place. Normally, I judge an event on how many “arseholes” in the allegorical sense I meet, and I have to admit I met none. Just some excellent games being put on and people having a bloody good time playing them.
The evening entertainment offered a nice curry and later some more beer drinking at a local pub with a small but cheerful crowd.
A big thank you to Ade Deacon, his family and friends who arranges the event, and to the Too Fat Lardies crew (Nick, Rich and Sid) and all the other wonderful people – good stuff.
I need a pretty good reason for not coming back to OML8.
I have a lot of trees for my wargames tables and I love the effect they give, sometimes (if suitable) I just add some of them on the fringes whether it has any practical use in the scenario or not. I do think they enhance the overall experience, compared to say a dark green piece of felt (or even worse some 2D wood tiles).
As some of you may be aware, I tend to put on large tables for my games at Joy of Six. I have slowly increased my collection of trees and probably reached what I thought was a peak for my 2107 table showing the Battle of Lesnaya 1708 (more about it here).
However, for this years Poltava table I needed more.
Even at the smaller scale I working with, the cost of buying some wargames specific trees quickly gets costly at the quantities I am looking for. So for my no-pine-tree trees I have gone for the ones you in bulk from china on ebay. This is a typical set of 60 trees at about 15p a tree.
You could then base them individually on bases, I tend to use washers, with small stickers underneath to cover the hole , cut the tree trunk and then glue it in the middle with some 2 part epoxy glue, before basing decoration. Do not forget to spray them with hairspray, scenic cement or clear matt varnish to seal the tree cover as this otherwise easily falls off over time.
There is a clear benefit in doing this as the trees individually stores very easily in a box or something like that.
Another issue is that some of the colours are a little bit more unnatural looking than others. You can rectify this at a very low cost by adding some additional colour to the tree. I tend to use some Dark Green Coarse Grass from Javis as well as some of the Mid-Green variety and did a mix – but you may have some other suitable flock in your collection (perhaps avoiding the static grass type).
I then apply some PVA glue on the tree trying to cover most of it and dip it in the mix.
Let it dry, then apply hairspray/varnish/scenic cement because this will fall off very quickly otherwise.
This is a comparative shot, before and after (I think it is worth it).
In addition I wanted to make some forest tiles using CDs – most of us have tons of old CDs, or DVDs, and you could perhaps save a few from going to landfill. Make sure they are not your back-ups of old photos or something like that.
I made a fair few and although they are not as practical to store as the individual trees they allow a quicker deployment on the table and you can decorate the overall area (e.g. the CD) nicely.
They work well with both my 6mm and 15mm stuff — perhaps not as good for 28mm.
In addition I bought some N Gauge rock / mountain / outcrop scenery pieces to use for the Poltava battlefield to break down he overall flatness of the kind of mat I will be using. I bought the set shown in the picture below and another slightly more expensive.
The work really well in the scales I am using (most of them can just be laid flat on the table). I think it will work wonders in creating that look of a battle field that is not completely flat and saved me some time. They are made from plaster – I guess dental plaster – and painted and decorated as shown in the pictures below.
Both the trees and the rocks will allow me to create that little extra flair to the battle board that allows that magic immersion to set in.
I needed a few more Villages for the Poltava table and bought some of Total Battle Miniature’s houses and scenic tiles (link to their webpage here). I normally make my own tiles but thought I treat myself. I like the concept of a separate Village tile because it makes the village more defined than just placing some houses in a cluster on the battle mat. The tiles are made in a rubbery material and it is not recommended to use spray primers to paint them. These small tiles costs about £4 each and works well with their very extensive range of houses, etc.
I painted the rubber bases with undiluted brown acrylic and then dry brushed them and added some static grass, flock and a few tufts.
I really like these. / Hope that was of some interest.