Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) – The Joy of Six 2017

It seems like ages ago that we went to Sheffield for the Joy of Six 2017 and I have had my head down into work and some neglected duties like 1800mm terrain modelling (gardening) and real life painting (some feature walls instead of shield walls) with a limited amount of any useful hobby time.  However, there is always some progress on some front in the Roll a One world (but more on that next week).

This is my take on the fantastic spectacle that is the Joy of Six – it is very biased as I frankly spent most of the day around the two tables I had brought.  I had a few round trips but failed to take more than a few pictures of the other offerings – mainly because I ended up having a chat and then feeling bad that I had left the tables and rushed back.  However, this was a little bit of an unnecessary mitigation as the games were running pretty well without my interference. The Wyre Foresters running the Lesnaya Table and the Little One the Lechnaga bash.  So as far as a proper show report goes it is a limited one.  For a better overview check out the report on Baccus page (link here and here).

A tale of two tables

It was a nice and sunny day in Sheffield and we woke up early as we actually managed to get to bed relatively early.   The mat for the Lesnaya Battle was rolled out and it was so refreshing compared to the usual 2 by 2 feet boards I have been using in the past – that invariably have warped a little bit and/or the underlying tables being uneven leading to some interesting and unintended elevations.

I had some fears about the varnish and the rivers but it all seemed to work very well – I think I have convinced myself that I will do mats from now (more on this adventure here).

When we had put on all the trees, the houses, the wagons and the starting units I took a step back and I have to admit we were pleased. “It is GEFAG!”, the Little One said – Good Enough For A Game!

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View with Lesnaya at the far end.  There was a nice shine in the river and the simple bridges (made from thin Spaghetti) worked really well!  In the middle Freijbourgs rear-guard awaiting the onslaught of the Russian war machine.
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Side table for the Russians as they were coming onto the table during the Battle from the directions – Golitsyn’d Division with Tsar Peter, Menshikov’s Divison and Bauer’s Division. There were also few Swedish enforcements (on the top left hand corner).
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Bauer’s eventual entry point in the left corner.
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Shot showing the defensive lines of Wagons, Lesnaya and Stackelberg’s Infantry (Swedish) as well as some of the Cavalry.
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Another Angle
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With the Cavalry commanded by General Lewenhaupt himself.
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The density of the forest really worked

 

The Wyre Forrester, under the guidance of Nick Dorrell, got on with the job.  Most of the time was spent talking about the table, the war, the mat and the Twilight of the SunKing Rules that was used on the day (the basing I use is the Polemos “standard” but this works equally well for the TotSK rules – one base is a small unit, two bases a normal unit and three bases a large unit).

At the latter part of the day the game started moving in earnest but did not reach a climax before we packed up.

Here are a few pictures from the action.

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For the Lechnaga battle (see background here and here) we used one of the mats I did for the Saga stuff last year and the canopy forests (see more here on this terrain). The actual gaming area was the middle half of the 3 by 4 foot mat.

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We decided to run the game (using Dragon Rampant Rules) with a war band/force sheet for each player and did a bespoke measuring stick based (we used centimeters instead of inches) on the units in the war band. We also did cards that to use to agree the order in which a player had a go – this created another layer of friction to the game. All, of course, colour coordinated!  I have provided the files if you are interested in doing something similar.

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I bought some cheap 20cm rulers for 50 pence each and printed out the file (download files here in PDF and Powerpoint – Dragon Rampant Rulers and Dragon Rampant Rulers) on some sticker paper (normal paper and glue may do as well!) and put them on the rulers where appropriate.

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The turn order cards are here Turn order Cards and here turnorder cards.

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A then the file with the factions used on the day here Factions and here Factions  .

We had a few good games – the Little One was in charge.  Here are some pictures – a big thank you to the few who dared to sit down and roll a few dice with the kids. The future of the gaming community and industry salutes you! The Little One would like to give a special thanks to Oliver and Chris!

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Other tales

It was a very good day, but it always seems to end too quickly,  here are a few of the things that I managed to capture.

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Arguably the warmest smile for miles!, but this is how we most commonly see Dr Mike in action. His posts on the Baccus forum in the old days got me inspired enough to get on with painting my first set of 6mm units. Grey primer, black wash, block and Nut-brown ink and base it nicely and consistently.
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My first contact with Waterloo was through that famous Abba Song and my mother moving like a Dancing Queen in front of me.  Dan Hodgson’s (on the front left) Waterloo was equally brilliant and was an absolute treat.  Chris Grice, on the right who wrote the Polemos Napoleonic rules, looked like a true General pondering on his next move of the day.  Here is the blur from the Baccus page.   I am a fan of Dan!
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Mr Peter Berry himself doing the Raffle and the many thanks session!   Never in the field of human table top conflict have so many had so small toy soldiers to thank for so much!

 

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Cold War Commanders – Landjut 1989 (Always having a good time and game, link to their blog here).  As a Swede I love when the Danes get a little harmless kicking on the table top.

 

 

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Mailed Fist – Last Train to Berlin (always very nice games and detailed terrain).  I should have taken a picture of the town but got star struck and just stared!

 

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South London Warlords – Neustadt Crossing 1985 (Excellent!). More about it here.  Iain we should meet up for a game at some point!
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MADgamers – Eastern Front 1700 (Trevor, thanks for the little chat).  Always happy to see you Gents at Joy of Six!

 

 

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WW1 Grand Style (I think the sign had a slight error – I let you go and figure).  Very nice!

 

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Salford 1642 – Excellent and so many houses! Link to some more blur here.

There were more tables that deserved to be shown of, but my lack of focus resulted in a limited set of pictures.  However, again here is the link to the Baccus official report part 1 and Part 2.

Of particular interest to me was the Battle of Issus using Command and Colours (or is it Colors!) by the Wyre Forest gang.  This really got me inspired to do something similar for the Punic Wars (but I save this discussion to another time – when I have not clue what to write about!).  There is a picture of it on the Baccus link above.

Yet again a very good event indeed. Thanks to Baccus, Wargames Emporium and all the other people that makes it all happen.  I have to extend the thank you to my two Little Ones – one doing her second year in the Yellow Joy of Six Jersey, selling entrance and raffle tickets, and the other for running one of the games.  Also a big thanks to Nick and the other merry men from the Wyre Forest!

Finally and big thank you to all of you who came around and said hello and told me you were reading this blog and liked it.  I really appreciate it and all you others who seem to come by every now and then!

We will back next year!, did I say thank you?

/  Have a good week!

Postscript (15/10/17):  I have had a few queries on the sources of the trees I used for this project, I got these from various sources on eBay. Here are a few screenshots done on the date indicated above of what I used.  None of these are based  (apart form the Orbicular ones have a little of a root section) and I did it by using washers with a bit of Milliput and make a hole in, let it dry, glue on some sand and paint it up, flock it and stick in the tree with some glue.  Some boring hours of work but I do think it is well worth it. 

The fir trees were from Busch and I think I got 3 or 4 packs of these – shop around as I recall I got mine somewhat cheaper.

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The other main tree was of this variety.

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I also got a few packs of the following:

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All the best!

Getting Ready for Joy of Six – Spaghetti Bridges, Varnish and the War Bands done

Troll Hurlers

Next weekend Joy of Six and time for us to head up to Sheffield and run some games with Nick Dorrell and the other Chums from the Wyre Forest Wargames club – we are looking forward to it!

A write-up of the two games can be found on the Baccus homepage (see here), I suggest you go there and have a look at these and the other things that will be going on at the Joy of Six.

I have spent the last week finalising the units we will field for the fantasy game and also completing the battle mat (discussed last week, here).

I have varnished the river sections using Liquitex High Gloss Varnish, I hope it will not crack to badly when the mat is rolled up! As per the tradition I have to bring some terrain made out of spaghetti to Joy of Six! This time all the bridges on the Lesnaya table are partially edible! (Al Dente!, more on spaghetti terrain here, here and here!).

 

As for the Fantasy game we will be running a participation game using Dragon Rampant. The rules are fun and easy to learn and I think will work well in this setting.  As this was a last minute change I have done a lot of short burst brushwork the last two weeks and had some great fun with the Little One preparing it all.  I think we need a break after Joy of Six!

Here are a few shots of the units we have been working on (not all made it to the final war bands below).

 

However for the game on the day, we will allow a maximum of three players per side (Good vs Evil) using the following warbands (notation based on the dragon rampant rules):

The Good Guys

Knights of Suecia (24 points)

Leader: Prior Lewen Hauptmann (18/00 Strength leader trait, actually a blessing from Suecia, giving him re-rolls in battle).

“He pulled down the visor of his helmet and gave a short prayer and looked around at his men – ironclad battle hardened Knights ready to fight to their last dying breath. “For the Glory of Suecia, give us your strength of battle!” he yelled out the blessing and his brothers responded concurrently; “We accept your strength”,  to complete the linkage to the divine plane. For a moment a reddish glow could be seen from their swords and spears as they were imbued with the spiritual power. “

  • Leader unit – Elite Foot (6 points)
  • Second Unit of Knights on Foot – Elite Foot (6 Points)
  • 2 No. Units of Knights on Horse – Elite Horse (12 points)

 

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The Knights – all the models are from Perfect Six (here is a link! – great growing fantasy range!)

 

Elves of the Fine Lands (24 points)

Leader: Warmaster Líndal Coamenel (Strong leadertrait)

  • Leader Unit – Elite Horse (6 points)
  • Second unit of Elf Riders – Elite Horse (6 points)
  • 2 No. Elven Archers – Light Missile with Sharpshooter upgrade (12 points)

 

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The Elves – all models from Baccus (Really nice ones, link here!)

 

Suecian Light Detachment (Garrison of Lechnagha, 24 points)

Leader: Captain Capri (Boneshaker leader trait)

  • Leader Unit – Heavy Riders (Centaurs, 4 points)
  • Second unit of Centaur Warriors – Heavy Riders (4 points)
  • 2 No. Outriders (Centaur Bowmen) – Light Riders (8 points)
  • 2 No. Foot soldiers – Heavy Foot (8 points)

 

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The Men and Centaurs from Lechnagha – All models from Rapier Miniatures (Link here – Centaurs from the Greek Mythology Range and Footsoldiers from the Ancient range. Lovely models and the Rapier guys are really nice chaps overall!)

 

The Bad Guys

Pethor the Snotty’s (Son of Pethor the Brute) Gang (24 points)

Leader: Pethor the Snotty (Strong leadertrait).

  • Leader unit – Warchariot – Heavy Rider with Chariot upgrade (6 points)
  • Boar Riders – Heavy Riders (4 points)
  • 2 No. Wolf Riders (short range missiles, javelins) – Light Riders (6 points)
  • Wolf Rider archers – Light Riders (4 points)
  • Giant Boars – Lesser Warbeasts (4 points)

 

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Pethor’s Gang – A mixture of models with Goblin Wolfriders from Baccus (See link above) and Microworld (link here, fantastic range of fantasy stuff, I am getting some undead next!), Chariot from Baccus, Boar Riders from Perfect Six (see above) and Giant Boars from Irregular Miniatures (see link here – Ogres Mounted on Large Boars).

 

Baahuer Backstabber’s Gang (24 points)

Leader: Baahuer Backstabber (Sky Darkener leader trait).

  • Leader unit – Light Foot, with Wizardling Upgrade (5 points)
  • 2 No. Goblin Infantry – Light Foot (6 points)
  • Snotlings – Light Foot (3 points) – this are modelled with double models (i.e. 24 in total instead of 12 models).
  • Ogre Gunners – Heavy Missiles (weighty projectiles, simulating very bad accuracy with a short range, 3 points) – 3 ogre models but small snotlings on the  bases still allowing the 1-2-3 basing.
  • Troll stone hurlers – Heavy Missiles (weighty projectiles, stones, 3 points) – 3 troll models, with stones on the bases allowing the 1-2-3 basing to work.
  • Archers – Light missiles (4 points)

 

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The Backstabber’s Gang – Goblin infantry from Baccus, Snotlings from Microworld (actually Goblins), Ogre gunners from Irregular Miniatures, Stone Hurlers from Perfect Six and the Backstabber himself from Microworld.  I will try to remember to give the infantry some flags (the poles look a little bit empty!).

 

Stinghy’s Gang (24 points)

Leader: Stingy Stjartdell (Goader leader trait).

  • Leader Unit – Heavy Riders (Scorpion Men, with Venomous Upgrade, 7 points)
  • Scorpion Guards – Heavy Riders (Scorpion Men, with Venomous Upgrade, 7 points)
  • Ferocious Manticore – Lesser Warbeast (Flying, Venomous, Hatred of Elves, 10 points) – using Harpys to mark Strength.

 

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The Stingy Ones – All models from Rapier Miniatures. These are my favourite models – the Manticore and Harpys from the Greek Myth Range and the Scorpion Men from the Glorantha Range.

 

All the very best. come and say hello if you come to Sheffield next week. For those who do not, I will write some updates in the next few blogs!

Have a good week!

 

 

 

Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) – Part 8: Filling in the brown spots and Plan B

With two more weekends before the Joy of Six show, I felt under positive pressure this week to get the final bits completed, the key item being the mat.

The idea this year was not to use terrain boards, as I have done previously, but instead try to do a terrain mat that contains most of the terrain features (see some background here and here). I had this rolled up piece of plastic backed drop-sheet with the acrylic paste on top – all dry but a very heavy 8′ by 4′ mat.  Having been rolled up for about 2 week I did notice some cracking and a few strange folds, but nothing scary.  It was time to decorate.

Remember the objective (upside down compared to the previous postings).

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Marking it all out and getting stuck in there.

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Drybrushed and ready for some static grass and flock!

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After static grass, flock and river detailing (and a good vacuum clean!) – I am actually very pleased. Dark green areas will be covered with trees and I will make some small bridges to put over the river crossings, and some buildings for Lesnaya and finally some features to show the elevation on the left.

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Some details (note road space exaggerated – to allow a basewidth through!)

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I think it will be good enough for the day! It took some time but I think it was worth it.  It took two relatively long sessions to get it done.

Plan B

As you are aware we have two tables at Joy of Six this year (16th July in Sheffield, see more details here) – the Lesnaya Battle as show above but we were also going to do some French-Indian War using the Sharp Practice 2 (SP2) rules with the help of Neil Shuck, of Meeples and Miniatures (see, or actually listen, here!) fame; “Hello Neil!”.  Neil and I ran the Saga games last year and we had a blast.  However Neil is not able to make it this year so I decided to change the plans slightly and run something with the Little One.  We have too little time to get up to speed with SP2, to give it a fair go, so we decided to go with plan B.  As you are well aware we have grown very fond of the Dan Mersey rules and as there are no other fantasy games on offer at Joy of Six this year – we went and figured.

I will do a little presentation of that game next week but you can see some background in previous posts (here). In addition I decided to do a few more units and here are some work in progress shots (Ogres and Treemen from Irregular Miniatures, Elves from Baccus and Centaurs from Rapier Miniatures).

/ Take care and hope to see you at the Joy of Six(tenth July)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dragon’s Rampant in 6mm – Part 1: Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

I have been working away on a few fantasy forces in the background of doing my Joy of Six preparations. This week I mainly did trees and some other terrain preparations and did not really take any pictures – next week more on Lesnaya (the mat I did last week is working really well).  I also got drawn into the Glastonbury catch-up on BBC iplayer and some wonderful performances by Foo Fighters and Jamie Cullum – great stuff!

Back to the fantasy.  I plan to do the following forces (this is certainly a Joy of Six as I have found what I wanted from various 6mm producers):

  • Goblins based on miniatures from Baccus (see here) and Microworld Miniatures (see here). I have completed the initial miniatures for this warband (they are presented below), but plan to add some Trolls from Perfect Six as well.
  • Knigthly Order – I have done some knights using the Order of the Dragon miniatures from Perfect Six.  These are heavily armoured knights and give a “space marine feeling” with the nice and bulky armour and the inclusion of pistoliers and crossbow men is really nice. Mine have shining armour with some red detailing. Check out the growing fantasy range (and other useful stuff) at Perfect Six here.  I have completed enough to field a small but very strong warband of these (see below) – the idea being that the are all elite units so only a few would be needed to match a the Goblins above.

Future Warbands

  • Scorpion Men – I have ordered some of these from Rapier Miniatures, see here , they are part of their new Glorantha range – the fantasy world created by Greg Stafford (see here) and made famous by the fantasy roleplaying game Runequest.  As an old Runequester I could not resist.  I know Rapier are working away on a new 6mm Mongol range but later in the year we may see Bison riders and Broos (those are a given for me, so perhaps some more factions).  They do some great ancient ranges too.
  • Elves and Centaurs – I already have some Elves from Microworld Games (see above) and the Centaurs are on their way from Rapier Miniatures (see here) from their Greek Myth Range.  I plan to get some elven archers from Baccus.
  • Adventurers and Hirelings – Remember the hirelings from Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) that could be hired by the adventuring group with a few hit points each? This homage to D&D warband will be using the adventurers from Perfect six supported with warriors, pack mules, horses (for strength marking purposes). Each adventurer will be a unit with an adventurer supported by hirelings, pack mules and other items used as strength markers, as the unit takes damage the hirelings are removed until only the adventurer remains.  The look of a real power gaming set-up!

I want to use the Dragon Rampant rules (same family of rules as Pikeman’s Lament and The Men Who Would be Kings that I have tried out successfully in the past, see here or here for some examples of these games being played) as this have  the right level of complexity and playability for the Little One and I.

The format of the warbands and the 1-2-3 basing works really well and it only takes a few evenings to prepare, paint and base each faction.

Progress so far

Goblins

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Baccus Goblin Chariot and Microworld Wolfriders (15mm, 20mm and 25mm bases)

 

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Baccus Wolfriders

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As above, from a different view

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Baccus Goblins with a Microworld Orc in lead (12mm, 15mm and 20mm bases)

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As above form different angle

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Smaller Goblins from Microworld (These are tiny!, so these are 1/2 strength point per miniature!, 12mm, 15mm and 20mm bases)

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As above

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Microworld Wolfriders

Knightly Order – all from Perfect Six

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/ Hope that was of some interest, more on the way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) – Part 6: The Lesnaya 1708 Field of Battle – Planning and Setting out!

After having banged the 6mm skirmish drum for a while I have no choice but to get on with the big battle of the Year as Joy of Six is getting closer.

In creating a battle board for gaming a known battle there are a number of steps I take to allow me to create a reasonable area that creates the right balance between four elements – historical accuracy, playability, available space and overall visual impact.  Remembering important issues such as the difference between the ground scale and the figure scale for large scale battles (and building scale) – this is why you see towns represented by just a few buildings next to rivers that looks like the models could just jump over.

The Lesnaya Battle was not a straightforward “line-them-up-and-attack” battle but happened in stages where the Russians first attacked the Swedish rearguard that was reinforced in stages but the front line of battle constantly moved back towards Lesnaya – it quickly became clear that the battle would be best played length wise on the table.

I have used the map below as basis for the battle board and it was produced by Örjan Martinson on his absolutely brilliant Tacitus Webpage that contain a lot of useful information about the Lesnaya as well as other battles of the Great Northern War (link here http://www.tacitus.nu/gnw/battles/Lesnaya/ ). The map show the position of the opposing sides at the start if the battle (Note the name of Lesnaya in the traditional Swedish spelling – Ljesna).

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Map from the Tacitus Webpage at the Start of the Battle

 

The first thing I wanted to do was to overlay my conceptual 4 by 8 feet (120cm by 240cm) battle board space over the map and see what area this would cover – would it be enough to play the battle on?  In this case I simply use the Freijbourg Rearguard as the basis for my battle board (marked in the red circle) for my calculations. The Rearguard consisted of 2 No.  battalions of De la Gardie’s Regiment and 1 No. battalion of the Närke-Värmland 3-männing Regiment.  In the Polemos Rules each battalion is represented by a 60mm frontage base and in the Twilight of the Sun King rules this is (at battalion level) represented by a normal unit (2 No. 60mm frontage bases) and a small unit (1 No. 60mm frontage base). Giving some space between the battalion I used a length of 20cm for the 3 bases.

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The Rearguard Battalions

 

In the PowerPoint files I used to do the exercise the length of the Rearguard Box (in the picture) was 1.4cm and I multiplied this with 6 to get the equivalent of 120cm (or 4 feet) length, this is 8.4cm and I created two squares (with 8.4cm sides) and overlay these on the map to represent the area the board would cover. To my (happy!) surprise the area covered (as shown in the picture below) was spot on for where the fighting actually occurred.  Sometimes it does not work and you may not have enough space – you could easily cut this board down to a 6 by 4 table by taking away 2 feet of on the left hand side. The first notable encounter between the opposing armies was at the location of the rearguard. In addition it could be possible to reduce the depth as well but we did not have those problems on this occasion. All the Russian forces will not start on the board!

Following a deeper review of the overall battle from the start to finish with regards to the known locations of fighting, the area covered is sufficient to represent the fighting on the day.

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The area captured!

But wait!, you may say… In the In the Twilight of the King Rules a base width (60mm, or 6cm, in our case) is about 150 meters, meaning that the frontage for our 3 bases (18cm) is about 450 meters.  As we measured 20cm this equates to about 500 meters width for the set of three bases with some space in-between.  We can clearly see that the width of the rectangle is far less than the 0.5km length based on the ruler in the to left corner.  So in terms of adherence to real scale it does not work but in terms of ground scale and playability it does – I think that makes sense?

Case Study: Fraustadt 1706

Another example is when I did the wintery Fraustadt 1706 Battle a few years ago where the main feature was the line of Saxons and Russians between the two Villages (Rörsdorf and Geyersdorf). The key design feature of that battle board was to be able to fit all the based miniatures for this line the space available. I physically put all the bases on the table and used this to draw the features on the board, this gave me the “correct” measurements to play the game efficiently.   I recall that I took some liberties on the Saxon/ Russian left flank to make the it work, but overall the battle board reflected the terrain features of the battle.

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Working on the Fraustadt Board in 2012

 

 

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Joy of Six 2012 – Battle of Fraustadt 1706. The Saxon-Russian line was not straight as it did not fit the available space.  You can find the Ordre de Batallie (OdB) here.  It is a map from the excellent book (Fraustadt 1706 – Ett fält färgat rött) on the battle by Oskar Sjöström (only available in Swedish).  I used this OdB and the map as a basis for doing the terrain boards.  The only change I did was to make move Rörsdorf  to make the overall line slightly straighter.  All in all the table showed a (1) historically feasible set-up with the key terrain feature present, rivers, roads, pond villages, etc (2) it was playable and the table was based on the frontages used for the battle, (3) it fitted on the table allocated and (4) I think that although the table perhaps leaves you cold (with the pun intended) it is spectacular enough!

 

Back to the Lesnaya table and the next step which is to highlight the key features of the battlefield that are needed on the final battle board. The board will contain a lot of forested areas (!), roads (important as they cut through the forests), rivers and bridges and the elevation around Lesnaya and the river.

 

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Key Features

 

After this I mark out the features (I did not include the bridges or Lesnaya itself at this stage) and we are ready for the tools and the materials.

 

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Sketch for further works

 

I have previously made the Great Northern War tables as 8 No. 2 by 2 feet boards but decided to do a mat this time in the same way as the Saga mats last year (See link here https://rollaone.com/2016/06/19/saga-in-6mm-part-7/ ).

The mat will incorporate the forest areas and make these darker than the general white areas (these will incorporate a few fields) the marshland will be a in yet a different colour and I will create separate river tiles to put on top of the mats (with bridges), including the elevations around Lesnaya.

I have not yet started the mat, instead focused the weekend on basing some trees – I will need a fair few.

Hope to show some mat progress soon.

I am working on some 6mm fantasy stuff in the background, here are a few pictures of work in progress (I will do a write-up later).

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Goblins from Microworld Games

 

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Knights from Perfect Six Miniatures

 

/Have a good week