Sunday, 31 December 2017

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to friends out there. I wanted to post before the end of the year so I browsed my shelf to see what I had that was new and cool to show off. I am building on the momentum from my 28mm WW2 game and started making some terrain for that. I watched The Terrain Tutor on Youtube and blatantly stole his method for making rock walls. He is great to watch and full of good ideas.

8' of fences in 6" sections. I still need to add gates.
 Close up. I think the flock needs toning down...

I have started on wooden fences as well and hope to have those done over the next couple of days.

I have continued to work on D&D stuff. I purchased some new minis as a new wave of stuff came out from WizKids. Cheap and cool figures. I was also pleased to see them release some civilian types for me to use as NPC. Barmaids, dancing girls, bartender and trader are all added. Children and town guardsmen too.

I also did some terrain in the form of a bar. What campaign would be complete without a place to have a bar fight! Tables, chairs, the bar flooring, boxes, shelves and sacks all from scratch made mostly from styrofoam.
I have been looking to buy some more terrain and hanging out on the "Things From the Basement" website. I refused to order anything more from them until I completed my last batch from them. I assembled and primered the models an age ago and finally added paint. They are a little clean looking but good for now. Most importantly, I can order more goodies without guilt!

Last but not least I built a campfire for my campaigners to huddle around. The cool part of this model was successfully soaking the cotton ball smoke in floor wax and having it harden up and keep its shape. This worked well and now I will apply the same technique to my smoke grenades and covering fire markers for WW2.

Happy New Year and God Bless!

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Italian Adventure

This is a review of our game on Sunday. I had hoped to have 2 more players but there were enough to have an enjoyable game. The American platoon supported by a Sherman M4 was assigned to secure a path through the enemy held territory. A German platoon was scrambled to stop the break out, supported by a sniper. The rules used were Chain of Command by TooFatLardies. I have found this to be a rule set that requires a longer learning curve than more straight forward sets like Bolt Action. Fortunately, the players participating were muddled through and found it an interesting challenge and agreed it was worth investing in learning.

An important lesson that differentiates these rules from others is that units in reserve can turn up and fire in one action. The Americans deployed 2 of their three squads and overwhelmed a single squad. They were brave and advanced out of cover when the enemy squad broke and ran. The next turn the Germans deployed another squad from reserve and caught the Americans in the open. The Americans were in turn, shot up and forced to withdraw.

Another lesson is that attacking is difficult. The attacker does not get overwhelming numbers to accomplish a task and will need to use all the tools available in the rules. These include using covering fire and smoke to allow your troops to advance.

The table came together well. I ordered up some terrain building tools in the form of rolling pins that imprint cobblestones and brickwork on Styrofoam. This should make building houses and buildings easier.

I am very tempted to order up another army or two for this game system. In particular, Black Tree Design is having a sale and have some nice looking British Airborne troops...

Sorry for the lack of pictures but I remain without a camera. Any viewer advice on an effective and inexpensive digital camera???

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Game Preparations

I have returned faithful reader(s). This blog has been sorely neglected of late. We are heading for a new year and I hope to breath some new life into my writing. Partly to blame is the loss of my camera. I am reduced to taking pictures with a bad phone camera. Maybe Santa will bring me a new camera for Christmas. I did receive an early Christmas present in the mail. 
Gaslands is a post apocalyptic themed race game designed for use with Hot Wheels! Definitely on the lighter side of my rule collection but looks quick and fun. Dragons Rampant is a unit based skirmish fantasy game. Also on the lighter side but I am looking for a reason to get my fantasy stuff on the table and a friend also bought a copy. Stay tuned for battle reports and reviews on these items.

I have been continuing my D&D campaign. Below are some in-game action shots. The hills were fun to craft and look imposing on the game table. Not sure they will translate well to wargaming but you never know.

Below is another in-game picture of the D&D game. I made these cave tiles from an interlocking floor mat, painted and cut to size. I painted up some of the doorways from Warhammer Quest. I have been buying the cheap and fabulous WizKid pre-primered fantasy miniatures and painting them up.

I have not played a "proper" wargame for some time. I recently sent an invite to my gaming group and have been putting together a Chain of Command demo game to run in 28mm. I organized the platoons and painted the bases to match. The scenario is set in Sicily with the 2 American infantry platoons trying to break through the German lines held by a hasty defense from 2 German infantry platoons. I will be using the multiplayer rules provided for free from the TooFatLardies web site. 

I thought about using my 15mm stuff because all the options are available for support choices but went with 28mm because it is a much more impressive scale. I will have to proxy any unusual support choices. We play on Boxing Day and weather permitting will have 5 players. This will be my first time playing these rules with another player. I hope it goes well and I gain some fans of the rules to play in the future. There are many new Youtube videos out with these rules on display. I have watched many of them and feel confident in being able to present the rules to new players. Stayed tuned for that battle report as well. 

Saturday, 11 November 2017

The Moathouse of Blighty Bog

Uh oh! Five weeks and no update... I have had a serious distraction from gaming and posting in the form of a Caribbean vacation and an all consuming terrain project. At times, I felt like Richard Dreyfuss in "Close Encounters", with his obsession in building a cool piece of terrain.

First the vacation - A week on the beach and in the pool in Jamaica. I can recommend the Bahai Principe in Runaway Bay as a great place to visit.

While I was there, I read my DnD books for the first time and many years and prepared to Gamemaster a game when I got home. I read an old DnD module from 1st Edition called "The Village of Hommlet". I loved the art in it and always wanted to model the castle but didn't know how 30 years ago when I first read it. I made some sketches of a bunch of terrain ideas, but also sketched out the castle with a plan to build it in 28mm. I wanted to be able to use the castle for wargaming as well, so I built it in pieces. This would allow me to reconfigure the wall sections and add sections at a later date.

Here is the art from the module

I made use of my Grade 8 drafting class skills

I did not take any "in progress" pictures. I was pretty focused on getting to completion. Also, my sweet camera is on the fritz. These pictures are courtesy of my wife's cell.

This is a scrap piece to show the components. The fa├žade is 5mm foamcore with the paper pulled off. The wall is 1" extruded polystyrene. The base is 3mm MDF. I used a pen and scored in the bricks. I credit Black Magic Craft on Youtube for the technique. Check it out.

This is the main keep and the biggest piece in the model.

The Inner Keep 8" tall

Ruined tower + rubble

Smaller round tower and gate

6" Wall Sections

14" wall sections

2 ruined corners and a ruined wall

Inner and Outer Corners

The Moathouse

Courtyard made from cobblestone matt from Michael's

From the side

The next two pics compare the build to the art

Thursday, 5 October 2017

My New Shiny

One of my 6x6 challenge games was Dungeons and Dragons. Except for a few hours playing while driving to Huzzah, I have made no head way in getting this game going. I have had a recent inspiration which I hope will reverse this trend.

I have been watching the excellent "Terrain Tutor" videos on Youtube. I clicked on a suggested title called "Black Magic Craft". This series is produced by a guy in Winnipeg. He makes lots of sweet looking fantasy terrain for his DnD games. He uses insulation foam which is easy to work with and cheap. I bought a couple of foam cutters off Amazon and a bunch of foam and voila!

pink styro - work in progress
 A weekends work
 Also bought a black clothe to lay the tiles on

 Diaz with casket

Hot wire table saw!

This cutter works great. I am excited about the possibilities this baby can produce. I also bought a cobblestone mat from Michael's with the hope of converting it into roads at some point. I trotted out all my 28mm buildings for a photo op.

Dark Age buildings

Some still need paint

I started this blog to inspire and motivate me to play more games. I have accomplished this goal but feel I am missing the artistic and creative side of the hobby more and more. I think next year will be a more balanced approach as I continue to build my terrain collection. I am not adding any more figures except for the odd fantasy figure to keep my painting chops up. I will be doing a terrain wish list in a future post and will likely set some target goals for the new year.

Monday, 2 October 2017

The Battle for Charleroi 1815

I have been reading the excellent and free Ezine "Warning Order". They often publish 2 generic scenarios in an issue. I have been printing these off and putting them in a binder. Today I got to try one of these out. The scenario is called flank attack. This sounds dull but the write up is more interesting than the title sounds. As I read the scenario, I thought it bore a passing resemblance to the opening battle of Napoleon's 1815 campaign - Charleroi. 

French cross the Sambre 

The French crossed the frontier into Belgium at Charleroi at the Sambre River. The Prussians held briefly before retreating. I pulled out a French and a Prussian force to match the suggested list in the scenario. The objective is to capture Charleroi and not take 50% casualties for the French. The Prussians must hold the town and wait for reinforcements.

Prussian cavalry threaten the French advance

Forme Carre!

The Prussians were attacked by a larger French force but held good defensive terrain. The French opened the attack by attacking the hill that defended the towns flank. They also formed up to assault the town. The Prussians did their best to stall the French and had some success with their cavalry.

French flanking force arrives behind the Prussian defenders

Napoleon secures the hill

Prussian reinforcements started to arrive a few at a time but had a long march to get to the front lines.

Charleroi falls!

Prussian lancers counter attack

 Prussian reinforcements form up before withdrawing

The French rolled well and got all their reinforcements on turn three and they were in good position to help the attack on the hill and stall the arrival of the Prussian reinforcements. The Prussians fault valiantly but were eventually ejected from the town and hilltop. The Prussians did not have enough strength remaining to retake the town and withdrew to fight another day...