In the post last week I discussed the Project the Little One and I are doing to play the 29 Let’s Go Pint sized campaign from Too Fat Lardies (link here if you are interested). The German platoon and supports have not yet been delivered as an item is on back-order, so we have pressed on with other stuff. One of the most pleasing aspects of a WW2 Skirmish is a nice looking table that sets the scenes alive. If you look at any of the Too Fat Lardies games there is plenty of character in the table itself – nice buildings, trees, hedges but also those additional things that makes it look real, like Green houses, planters, sheds, benches, telegraphs poles, pissoirs, statutes, monuments, civilian cars, old advertisement on buildings, etc.
Warbases have a nice range suitably called Chain of Command that has some very nice item including two garden sets (link here), they have been developed with Too Fat Lardies. The only problem for our project is that they are all in 28mm – if I did this in 28mm I would definitely get these.
I contacted Warbases and said something in the line of “Hey Lets Go 15mm?”. They told me they do not do them in 15mm, but that perhaps the stuff that Scenic Route Models could fit my needs (link here). Now these model are in OO scale that technically is 1/76 whilst 15mm is about 1/100 (most of the time) – in reality I feel that most of the Battlefront miniatures are bigger than 15mm. However, I thought to myself, I could throw a few pounds in their direction in the interest of research. So I ordered the following sets this Tuesday and they were delivered this Saturday.
And of course their Green House (well I got two).
I got them and as I suspected felt that there were a little bit on the large side (as they are design for another scale), this is the Greenhouse door vs the doors on the houses I am using (more about those below).
However I got out my good old razor saw and cut of a few layers on the bottom on all the pieces before assembling (you could use a knife and cut carefully as well) – A relatively easy modification.
And, I did similar modifications to the other stuff – always modifying the height. The only further modifications I did to the buildings where adding roof ridges (cocktail sticks), and gluing on 80 grade sandpaper on the shed roofs, and adding some glass to the plant boxes and green houses – this was from some sheets from some thin plastic from packaging for strawberries (I ate them and cleaned it up first). After I painted them I added some flower tufts to the planters and green houses. And, I almost forgot, I also added some detail to make the opening to the Green house look more like a door.
I am very happy with the results (the 15mm Americans from last week making another appearance).
I have made a second order for some more stuff (mainly repeats, but trying out one or more other things) and also ordered some other things from some other suppliers I hope will work as well – but will write about those in future updates here on the blog.
I also stumbled upon the following during an eBay search for something completely different. I thought it looked like some kind of stone pattern.
So, I got myself a piece of it to try out – it is called Faux Leather Python Pattern Upholstery Fabric and is sold in 1 meter lengths (1.4m wide) for £12. I got it and did a quick dry-brush and detail and this is how it turned out – not 100% satisfied but it does work.
Finally I bought a whole bunch of 15mm Normandy houses/structures (16 No. in total) from Empires at War – they are pre-painted stuff and are very good (link here). We only built a few and will only need about 5 No. for the 29 Lets Go campaign and only applied a little bit of additional paint mainly to hide the brown laser cut mdf sides – if you look at the pictures you can see the before and after look – they do work well without any modifications as well.
I will show more of the houses when I finished them.
As stated last time I am bulk finishing stuff for Horka so not much to show with regards to progress overall. I realised I am approaching the 100th blog posting and I thought I would make a little bit of a special going back to Saga and do something with regards to the new rules.
This is the plan, for the next 4 postings.
Blogpost 98, w.c 02-Apr-18.Some completed stuff for Horka 1708, this will be pictures of the completed Russian Infantry – the 64 bases required. I just need to complete the basing and add flags to the final ones in the next few days.
Blogpost 99, w.c. 09-Apr-18. – Gaslands in Microscale/6mm, this will have some shots from some games we have played and my impression of doing it with 50% measures.
Blogpost 100, w.c. 16-Apr-18. – Special about Saga 2 in 6mm, this will be some reflections, changes to rules and pictures from Gameplay with the new rules over the Easter Period.
Blogpost 101, w.c. 23-Apr-18. – My take on Salute on the 14th. Looking forward to see Michael Leck’s Stäket 1719 and Too Fat Lardies Demo game of What a Tanker!, to mention a few things. I also have a few things to pick up (some more Mutant 1984 stuff).
A little bit of progress on the Mutant 1984 stuff
I did put some paint on the Cabin I built and added some snow, I still have to do the doors and windows and a final fix of the snow cover but I think this will give an idea on how it will look in the end. There is a note on how I built the cabin from the Blog post two weeks ago (link here). (More on this overall project here)
I also finished some Snowmobiles I will use for the Mutant 1984 project for a little scenario involving a motorised chase scene. These were bases on some matchbox models I found whilst looking for some stuff for Gaslands – they are a different scale than the normal Matchbox stuff and work reasonably well with 28mm. I used some Warlord Plastic Americans that I cut up a little bit (e.g. legs and hands) that allowed me to create something resembling drivers for these cool vehicles.
I am currently spending a lot of hobby time finalising bases for the Horka 1708 project that will be presented at the 6mm show Joy of Six in July this year (a link to the webpage here). This will be my 6th year of putting a game on (2012 GNW Fraustadt 1706, 2013 GNW Klissow 1702, 2014 GNW Kalisz 1706, 2015 GNW Gadebusch 1712, 2016 Saga in 6mm, 2017 GNW Lesnaya 1708 and Dragon Rampant in 6mm). It is my favourite show of the year because it showcases what can be done in this scale and what is available as a lot of the 6mm miniature and terrain/building traders are in attendance. I suggest you check it out and get yourself to Sheffield this Summer (15th July).
I tend to move big chunks of works forward at the same time rather than completing say 4 bases and moving on to the next 4 set of bases. I used to do it in incremental steps, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to complete a big project/campaign by winning small victories on the way. I still get a kick of a completed base and how that seemingly randomless drybrushing on top of the brown base, in combination with the static grass creates that little illusion that puts the models in some kind of bigger context!
However, my current small victories are all the other diversions (Gaslands, Winter War, Mutant 1984, etc.) whilst I slog away with the big one. At times these diversions takes me away from the main mission for weeks. But I have to admit that it does not take much to get me back to the Great Northern war period. This final futile grasp of Sweden as a Great Power and the great battles, tragedies and personalities it contains. I know how it all ends, but it still blows me away and there is so much more to find out.
On that note (and I have mentioned a few before) check out Helion Company’s Century of the Soldier series that have a lot of upcoming books for the Great Northern War in particular but so much more. Link to Helion here. Give them a visit and get yourself some cool books. I am really pleased to see Great Northern war books in English and anyone who is doing them will certainly sell me a copy – but also gets a shout out.
Here are a few of the titles I am looking forward to (various release dates):
I am currently (re-)reading another one from the Century of the Soldier series about the Pruth campaign that was released a at the end of January this year (incidentally, as Nick wrote it I had read the initial draft, but had not seen the bespoke drawings of troop types of the two sides and re-enactment pictures of Russian soldiers – and I really enjoyed it). I discussed this book here that formed the basis for a little skirmish side project using Pikeman’s Lament (see more here, here and here). However this campaign lends itself to bigger battles. Think about the mixture of differing troop types with the colourful Ottoman army of the period on one side againt the more westernized Russian army with Kalmucks, Tartars and Cossack support on the other – what a spectacle. [editor notes: At this note he drifts away into that la la land again, planning battles and setting up painting progress spreadsheets again].
In 1711 Peter the Great, the Tsar of Russia, led a large army of veterans from Poltava and his other Great Northern War victories into the Balkans. He aimed to humble the Ottomans in the same way he had the Swedes a few years before. Victory would secure useful allies in the Balkans, cement Russia’s ‘Great Power’ status and offer Peter the opportunity to finally gain control over the Swedish king, Charles XII, thus completing his victory over Sweden. Yet within a few months, the ‘backward’ Ottomans had forced the Tsar and his Tsarina and their army of veterans into a humbling surrender near the Pruth River. The war was the first time that Russia was strong enough to confront the Ottomans independently rather than as a member of an alliance. It marked an important stage in Russia’s development. However, it also showed the significant military strength of the Ottoman Empire and the limitations of Peter the Great’s achievements. The war was of significance to the allies of both the Russians and the Ottomans. It was of course of an even greater importance to all those directly affected by the war such as the Swedish, the Polish, and the Cossacks, who had taken refuge from the reverses of the Great Northern War in the Ottoman territory. It would also bring about the defeat of the Moldavian and Walachian ambitions to shake off the Ottoman overlordship, elevating Dimitrie Cantemir into the position of a national hero celebrated to this day by the people of Romania. The book looks at the causes of this little known war and its course. Using contemporary and modern sources it examines in detail the forces involved in the conflict, seeking to determine their size, actual composition, and tactics, offering the first realistic determination on the subject in English.
So how am I getting on with the Horka project, then?. I actually did not know until recently as my notes were a little bit here, there and everywhere. So I opened up a spreadsheet and did an inventory and counted the models I had to date. Here is a summary of where the painting is at expressed as percentage complete (then there is basing etc, but since that is relatively quick I am only interested at this stage on whether I have enough painted lead or not!):
Swedish Infantry (672 foot) – 57% (16 of 28 bases done)
Swedish Cavalry (648 riders) – 96% (69 of 72 bases done)
Overall – 90% complete (230 bases of 255 are now in painted condition) – over 3,500 miniature . When I counted it all up I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised that I had so little left to do. It is the largest amount of bases I have ever put on a table to date. The picture below show the two armies spread on a 12 foot (3.6m) table (the middle white and blue ruler shows 1 feet increments). Both have a 8 foot frontage (2.4m) and the Russian one is mostly 4 bases deep. I think it will be worth the Joy of Six ticket just to see that – but then I am somewhat biased with regards to tricorne hats (and Karpuses).
Then there is artillery and leaders but I have not yet checked whether I need to do any more than what I already have available from previous projects. I am going to have a little chat with Nick Dorrell on the likely composition of the artillery at this stage of the campaign – I will have a view and he will correct it.
Here is a photo of the work in progress – or work in a mess more like it!
I would like to do a shout out for Tiny Tin Troops that amongst many things do flags (web page here) – I found their Russian GNW flags especially useful for my project. With so much infantry a lot of flags are required and although you could do them yourself it can be time consuming of to recolour images, etc.
They compliment the Baccus sheets I have used up nicely (link here) – order the 8mm version (this is not the scale but the height of the flag) – link here. Nice and pleasant to deal with.
Their range of flags covers Crusades, Flodden, ECW, Ireland 1690, GNW, WSS, 7YW, Napoleonic, Armada Naval and they also have some WW2 Posters (for 6-28mm figs).
There is a painting gallery there that you may find fascinating if you are into the period, especially these. This is from the time TTT had a painting service – inspiration stuff!
As for the Terrain I will not start the terrain mat (5 by 12 feet) until the weather gets more stable as I ideally need a good few sunny days – lacking in space and inspiration to do it on a gloomy day. This is normally the last thing I do anyway so I do not expect this to be done until end of May or June.
I will need to start worrying about the real estate that I will need for Horka itself and the Villages around it. The Better one got me a nice bunch of Eastern European buildings (mostly churches) following my thoughts on the Monastery at Poltava (more here) that I need to paint up as well. I have some buildings already so I do not see this as a major effort.
Overall it is all in hand.
I also got the latest Saga Rules and the Viking supplement and they are nice products indeed. I am coming up towards the 100th blogpost (having done an average of 1 post a week since I started) and I would like that particular one to be about Saga v2 in 6mm as a homage to the very first blog post Saga in 6mm (link here). Planning to run a few games with the models I already have (I made 12 starter factions so I do not think I need to paint any more at the moment).
Some of the changes I noted so far are:
Warlords have changed significantly with regards to the special abilities.
Levy units generate Saga dice (if they are 6 or more models on the table).
Warrior units reduced to less than 4 models do not give you Saga dice. This avoids the potential of a 1 man warrior unit being held back to spawn saga dice.
If you are far away from an enemy you can move a unit for free as a first activation.
Some simplification of fatigue, combat and movement rules
I got the basic rule book for £8.50 (this contains the basic rules) and the Viking supplement (this has the Viking factions and the battleboards) for £25.50, which I believe is very competitive, from Dark Sphere (link here) with free postage.
I have all the old Saga books and I am aware this version will probably not blow me away in the same way as the first set, but it is on the basis of that very first set I bought the second edition. Saga is a fantastic game and I, and especially the Little One, want to be part of the ongoing process of making it even better.
So we are, for sure, dusting of the cobweb of the warbands (that was used for the Original Saga rules and have been stand in for some games of Too Fat Lardies Dux Britanniarum games). The Little One is smiling – the Big One too.
Here are a few shots of the Saga stuff (all based on 25mm square bases) as we felt obliged to stare at it for a few minutes.
Following on from previous discussions with regards to replaying some of the Scenarios for the Mutant roleplaying game I have been doing some further thinking and practical work. Link here for a better background (with more stuff here, here and here).
The Mutant game this relates to is the Swedish game from 1984. This is my stain and rustless first love and the game is the forefather of the current fantastic Mutant – Year One game, by Swedish company Free League published by the British company Modiphius, link here. [The Mutant 1984 version was set in year 108!] The team also publish the eminent Tales of the Loop – Roleplaying in the 1980s that never was that is one of the most beautifully looking gaming books I have ever seen. The artwork by Simon Stålenhag is amazing (if you do not know what I am talking about, check out his homepage here!). You should check out both these excellent games!
Tales of the loop – Roleplaying in the 1980s that never was
The landscape was full of machines and scrap metal connected to the facility in one way or another. Always present on the horizon were the colossal cooling towers, with their green obstruction lights. If you put your ear to the ground, you could hear the heartbeat of the Loop – the purring of the Gravitron, the central piece of engineering magic that was the focus of the Loop’s experiments. The facility was the largest of its kind in the world, and it was said that its forces could bend space-time itself.
Scifi artist Simon Stålenhag’s paintings of Swedish 1980s suburbia, populated by fantastic machines and strange beasts, have won global acclaim. Now, you can step into the amazing world of the Loop.
In this roleplaying game in the vein of E.T. and Stranger Things, you’ll play teenagers solving mysteries connected to the Loop. The game rules are based on Mutant: Year Zero, which was awarded with a Silver ENnie for Best Rules at Gencon 2015.
…goes back to the origins of the Mutant franchise: role-playing after the Apocalypse. In this game, you play as one of The People – heavily mutated humans living in The Ark, a small and isolated settlement in a sea of chaos. The outside world is unknown to you, and so is your origin.
Mutant: Year Zero has two major game environments, each with its own style of play:
The Ark, your home in the dawnworld. A nest of intrigue and Lord of the Flies-style power struggles, it’s far from a safe haven. But it’s the only home you know, and just maybe the cradle of a new civilization. The game rules let you improve and develop the Ark in the areas of Warfare, Food Supply, Technology, and Culture. It is up to you, the players, to decide which projects to embark on.
The Zone, wastelands outside the Ark. You will venture into the Zone in search of food, artifacts, other mutants, and knowledge – not least about The People’s own origin. The game includes two maps of example Zones; London and New York and a plethora of tables and other tools to let the GM populate its sectors with mutants, deadly monsters and bizarre phenomena.
Having debated on how I will play the scenarios, I have decided that I will use the Original 1984 rules with some inspiration from the Mutant 2 expansion (produced 1986) and also some inspiration from early Runequest as I really loved the grouping of skill categories and individual bonuses based on characteristics.
Mutant 2 had an interesting combat system with segments and a high dexterity character acted more often than a low dexterity character. This Mutant 1984 2.0 project wants to be a simple as possible and therefore fatties (like myself) can act as often as anyone else – however we may be less efficient when we do so.
I have devised a character sheet that should be not too unfamiliar for anyone who have played Runequest or Call of Cthulhu – the characteristics range in general between 3 and 18 and all skills are percentages. This is still work in progress and I will finalised these shortly (and the Mutant Logo is scanned from the original 1984 cover – I have not rights to this one whatsoever. However I hope this tongue-in-cheek project gets the right owners blessing as opposed to its cursing).
For the purpose of playing the set events more like “skirmish wargame scenarios” I will need to devise some simple rules – so far 7TV (from Crooked Dice, link here) looks promising and it also has a nice campaign feel for connected scenarios, or should that be shows.
Building the cabin – Part 1
From the earlier posting you may recall the cabin I need for one of the events in the first scenario (see here).
I suppose this would require the Cabin itself – and the set-up will be so that it allows action inside and outside.
Based on the floor plan I sketched the cabin on a piece of paper and used some figures to make sure the would work in the setting – no point spending time on a building that does not work for the purpose of playing in it.
I made some modifications to the layout and the final layout became a square cabin with two of the small rooms being combined to a large one and a new one created. I decided to build the cabin on a piece of Polystyrene (Blue Foam) I had laying around. This piece was a 20mm thick piece and I will utilise this for the detailing I will do later.
Next I drew the floorplan on top of the blue foam and used some balsa wood dowels (5mm diameter) and set out the shape in one direction (glued them down, make sure they overshoot with about 1 cm at this time) and then cladded each room (glued down) with some cut out pieces of coffee stirrers (you know the ones they have in coffee shops). I varied the direction of the planks for each room.
The idea is that we need to make cuts where the timbers crosses to allow the characteristic look of a log cabin. You need to make some cuts and then slightly file it down (I just used the rough part of the Exacto knife I have – as balsa wood is really soft).
Basically cut down a v shape and then rub the rough part until you have a round groove half the depth of the dowel diameter.
If you are using hard wood dowels you have my sympathies and this would take even longer than the pain I had in using the balsa wood.
Just continue doing a layer in each direction – cut, glue and then I used dressmakers here and there to make the construction sturdier. Be careful and go slow – balsa is a very soft material indeed. The models are Soldiers of the Pyri Commonwealth, any similarities to Napoleonic British Riflemen are just incidental.
and more layers… then cut out some windows (at this stage I have no idea how I will finish them).
Then after a few sessions
I cut out something resembling a fire place and made a roof from a 6mm thick piece of floor insulation board (polystyrene foam). I then made a roof from the same material and cladded the sides (the roof will be mainly full of snow so most of the insulation foam will be covered with this.
Then I added a porch on the front, some chimneys (6mm foam using a pen to make a stone build effect), a few planks to make the illusion that the whole roof is made of wood (i.e. where the snow will not go), did a first layer of builders caulk on the roof.
Very happy so far with the Cabin (working title “Overkill”) I will probably detail the surroundings and paint it before I:
Add some LEDs to create a flickering fire effect in the fireplace (like I did in a recent trial, shown here)
Do the windows and doors
Add some further detailing like furniture but without making it to busy.
Do flagpole with the flag of Ulvriket – a white wolfhead on a black background.
But that is next time,
/ Hope that was of some interest, if not I blame Dirk of the Grognard Files for ongoing, constant and brilliant inspiration on gaming in a 1980s that damn surely was! Check the Files out by clicking here and enjoy!
This is the 50th blog post since we started last year following Salute 2016 (here is a link to the very first post) – no big parties lined up or memorial statues being carved but there is a certain level of satisfaction involved – I am celebrating the occasion rolling a few ones and having a few crafty beers.
We spent last week in Southern France visiting some friends with the compulsory sampling of the local produce to the small hours. The Little One practiced his camouflage skills and apart from the bright NERF rifle it was difficult to spot him and his friend in the undergrowth.
On the Wargames front there is not much new – all the Stuff for Salute is packed.
We have told you where to look for us at Salute in the last blog entry (see here) and here is the general blur about it (see here) – hope we will see you there!
I had to rearrange a little bit so the Russians got out of their box anyway in their full glory. Here are a few shots showing 24 of the total 32 bases that will be present on the day.
And finally and most important to create some dimension on an otherwise relatively flat battlefield – the trees.
Below is a link to an PDF file with the details of the bases for the Battle and game statistics for both Polemos GNW as well as The Twilight of the Sun King. See the notes below on regards on what each bases represents in the Polemos rules which should make it relatively easy to translate the overall list to whatever rules you are using. Note that this list is slightly different to what I have presented in previous postings as some corrections in the list have been made.
I think we will run the Demo game using the Twilight of the Sun King rules on the day, see more here.
With regards to the Polemos Basing the following act as guidelines. Note that the leader/commander bases are markers indicating where the leaders are located on the field of battle and not active combat units. I tend to base them with 1 to 3 models on the front row representing quality (1 – Poor, 2 – Average and 3 – Excellent) and models on the back row representing Tempo points (used in the Polemos rules).
The extract below is from the Polemos GNW Rulebook (Page 5).
“The actual ratio of figures to real men will vary depending on how many figures you put on a base. A base represents the following: A base of infantry, except skirmishing infantry, represents between 400 and 600 men. They can be a single large battalion, a pair of smaller ones or a group of subunits up to this approximate strength. A base of cavalry, dismounted dragoons and skirmishing infantry represents two to three squadrons or similar groups, representing 200 to 300 men. A cavalry base is assumed to include wide intervals between squadrons, allowing friendly cavalry bases to pass through each other. An artillery base represents four to eight guns. The number of guns that a base represents varies depending on the size of the real guns. Four heavy guns will be represented by one base. While eight light guns will also be represented by one base. “
And there was another thing…
A delivery of some Corrugated Sheet Metal
I get a fair few deliveries from Amazon (google it if you are not familiar with them) and I noted that their packaging have a very nice and tight corrugation. I have seen this being used in the past to simulate corrugated sheets but had not tried it myself. I wanted to give it a try as I want to expand on the terrain I have for using with the Scrappers Mutant 1984 project I am working on (See more about it here).
Armed with a sharp knife I set slowly cut away the cover sheet on one side (I hope it is bleeding obvious but be careful when you use a knife).
After a few minutes I had plenty of uncovered sheets (I only cut them on one side).
After this I cut out small 40 by 20 mm pieces.
I got a nice pile of them.
I then built a simple test structure using some coffee stirrers (like the ones you get at Starbucks), matches, and my corrugated sheets. Using superglue and PVA to stick the things together, The two colorful pieces on top are made from some Kinder Egg rubbish the Small One had lying around – I and the Little One speculated that these could be part of some semi-portable wind based energy system. They had some interesting detail that will look good when drybrushed later.
I gave it a spray with a grey primer and I think this will paint up reasonably well (here with some unfinished miniatures to understand scale) and I think it looks ok with the 28mm figures.
Next week the Scrappers rules should arrive (from Amazon) with some new building materials! (although the little structure hardly caused a dent in the pile).
I just finished listening to Braddock’s Defeat on Audible and ended up buying the physical book as well from Amazon as a reference copy. This is an amazing piece of work by David Preston and I have not had so much enjoyment (reading a book on Military History) since I read Oskar Sjöström’s Fraustadt 1706: ett fält färgat rött. The Fraustadt book unfortunately, as is the case for a lot of Great Northern War literature, is not available in English. But I digress…
If you are familiar with the French Indian War period of history you will have heard about the British General Braddock leading a expeditionary force, in 1755, through Pennsylvania to attack the French Fort Duquesne on the forks of the Ohio River. A smaller French Canadian force, led by the French Captain Beaujeu and supported by native Indian Tribes, had decided to seek battle before the British arrived to the fort and encountered and attacked the British at Monongahela (about 10 miles from what is now Pittsburgh). It was the French Canadian resolve and ability to quickly get organised and use the terrain efficiently in applying woodland tactics that won the day.
“Historians have generally ignored French and Native perspectives on the 1755 campaign. The French were outnumbered, outgunned, and faced crippling supply problems in their Ohio Valley posts. They despaired of their inability to halt or slow Braddock’s relentless march. However, convoys of French reinforcements led by a veteran officer, Captain Beaujeu, came to Fort Duquesne after an epic 700-mile voyage from Montreal, arriving only a few days before the fateful battle at the Monongahela. …..
A newly discovered French account from the Archives du Calvados transforms our understanding of French and Native American leadership and tactics at the Battle of the Monongahela. The French commander, Captain Beaujeu, sent out Native scouts who brought him exact intelligence on the location and disposition of the British. Dividing his force into three parallel columns, Beaujeu organized a frontal attack on the British column with his Canadian troops. He instructed the Indians to spread out in the woods on the right and the left, and to withhold their fire until he had engaged the British. The Monongahela was neither a meeting engagement nor an ambush, but a well-planned and executed French and Indian attack on a vulnerable British column. “
Ten questions about Braddock’s Defeat by David L. Preston, accessible here.
I really enjoy the story telling aspect of real history and to paraphrase Dan Carlin, “it has destroyed fiction for me” (go and listen to one of his Hardcore History Shows if you have not done so yet!, here is a link). However being factual, intellectual and educational does not need to be boring and can instead be truly inspirational and that is this book in a nutshell. If you have any interest in the period, or military history in general, I suggest you get hold of this one.
I think a lot can be done with the skirmish rules I have (i.e. Sharp Practice, Musket and Tomahawks and Songs of Drums and Tomahawks) but for the “larger” battles I am not sure what good rulesets are there that captures the flavour of not just the period but in the particular way the war was fought in this theatre. But then this was only a small diversion!
Crystal Palace and that very famous Battle
I was intending to spend the day at SELWG (South East London Wargames Group) show in Crystal Palace today, but the little one had his first rugby festival for the season and luckily, because I would be a really sad bastard otherwise, I actually prefer to see him play rather than going to a wargames show. As it is very close to where we live we ended up going for the last 45 minutes on our way home – but the last part of a wargames show is very often like drinking a pint of lager that was poured two hours ago. I did not take any pictures of the tables on offer, but there seemed to be a good collection – a nice ancient game with loads of pikes and a Doctor Who game caught my eye. Next weekend (on both Saturday and Sunday) is the big event at Battle with the 950th Anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings. We are looking forward to this.
Supporting Cast, Real Estate and Markers
I decided to spend the little time I had available for diversions this week finalising as much of the painting as I could for the initial Sharp Practice stuff – so I and the little one could play a proper game in a not too distant future. This, instead of getting diverted spending hours gluing small strips of spaghetti like last week (see my last blog entry here) I actually managed to get some of the more immediate and necessary stuff completed.
I was thinking about a scenario with the characters from a famous movie set during the French Indian War – and did the three little chaps below. / Until next
Due to the marriage of some very good friends, this week has very much been devoted to getting the clan ready for the occasion. For most of the family the question is, “do I look good in this?” to which I answer “Absolutely fantastic!” for me it is “Can I fit in this?” and if the answer is yes then I am good to go! I can report that we had a fantastic time indeed even though we were by no means in the centre of any attention. Being in the vicinity of Twickenham I wanted to go to the Twickenham Museum and the “Footballer of Loos exhibition”.
Footballer of Loos
From the museums webpage: The first Big Push of World War One took place on 25thSeptember outside the small mining town of Loos in northern France. It was kicked off with a football by rifleman Frank Edwards. After the war Frank came to live in Twickenham and died in Whitton in 1964. During his lifetime he was known as The Footballer of Loos. The story of Frank’s exploit is told by way of an action tableau accompanied by artefacts and information about the Battle of Loos and is set against a striking backdrop painted by local children. Our community audio drama The Greater Game about Football on the Front in First World War …. To listen or download go to The Greater Game.
The actual football that was kicked about by the London British Rifles appeared on the Antiques Roadshow a few years back. Here is a short article about the programme.
Anyway, I was prepare and ready for it, but we ran out of time so perhaps another time.
French Indian War further thoughts
Inspired by the skirmish based 6mm miniatures I did last week I ordered some more miniatures from Baccus for my FIW project (again from the SYW and AWI ranges):
SFR09 – French Artillery. I need this to make an artillery piece for each side but also to use some of the artillery crews to make some of the supporting miniatures options, like the physic and the holy man.
SYG – Generals; to have the option of fielding a senior officer on horse and perhaps some characters for scenarios.
AWI01 – Indians – Bare Chested, to get some more variety of
AWL02Loyalist Infantry – Skirmish; these may be a better option to use for Rangers?AWB05 – Highlanders – Formed; just because I would like to have a unit of formed highlanders and the officer in the command strip just looks brilliant, and
AWB10 – British Light Infantry- Round hat, Campaign, Skirmish. To give some line infantry options, and.
ECW23 – Scots Dismounted Dragoons, from the English Civil War range!. I may get away with these as firing Rangers. But let me verify this after I get them from Baccus.
I also ordered some buildings from Leven miniatures that I thought could be useful for doing farmsteads, small fort and village, including ACW03 – Blacksmith’s Forge, ACW06 – Blockhouse, ACW26 – Shiloh Church, ACW25 – Brotherton Cabin, ACW07 – Timber Shack, WES04 – Livery Stable and WES18 – Outbuildings. I mainly used Leven miniatures for my Saga project and I really like their products. I have included pictures from these items from Leven’s catalogue, you can find Leven’s webpage here. I sense some spaghetti is being required again for fencing and palisades.
6mm Blacksmiths Forge
6mm Timber Shack
I also need to dig out some horses/mules and carts I have lying around to make the other support options, including water cart, ammunition cart, mule train and the engineering groups with cart. I also need to build some barricades and breastworks I have ordered a few items that would be useful for this purpose from perfect six (including their Black powder civilians including Barricade 20mm, cannonball stacks, 2no carts complete with famers cart horses and a dog and wooden Barrels).
I like minimal battlefield clutter and for the recent Saga game I used casualty markers to represent fatigue that blended in on the battle board (See an earlier post here). I did not make these as casualty dials but as individual markers due to the fatigue markers being actively used as part of the game itself – as the fatigue markers can be spent by the opponent. I believe I would need the following markers for Sharp Practice – with my current thoughts:
Present markers – I think I will use markers similar in shape to the overwatch markers used for Chain of Command or a marker with an arrow. These will be based and with some static grass on top to blend in.
Uncontrolled markers – again I will make a shape to represent this, perhaps a simplified “chaos” symbol with arrows in four directions.
Shock markers – I will try to make some casualty markers with a dial inspired by this 10mm Napoleonic’s blog. My concept sketch for this is included below – I just need to ask Peter Berry if he can do some Parrots in 6mm. This parrot is lead! Of course you could get away without using parrots and although Baccus does not do SYW or AWI casualty packs they do them for WSS (with Tricornes) and ACW (with hats and kepis that can be made to look the part I believe).
Ammo markers for artillery – I though I make small bases with cannon ball stacks (I have ordered these from Perfectsix) and place 3 (or more if the option have been bought) next to the artillery and take one away each time it fires.
Out of ammo markers – this is in the instances that a unit runs out of ammo as this is the exception and not the norm. Not sure what I will do for these. But I will figure something out. Perhaps you could give me an idea (as the norm is that there is ammo for the unit the marker is only useful for the “out of” situation).
I better get on with it, so we can have game and see how it goes…
Next time, if things goes to plan, I will be picking up on the Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) project again as I have been in some discussion with Nick Dorrell on how we do this and we also have some other plans.
However things may be temporary suppressed by a promise to the little one. I had words from Wayland games that the delayed Halo Ground Command pre-order was shipped, so I may need to clean my brushes and get on with that. He has been waiting for this since he play tested it with Spartan Derek at Salute this year.