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