Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Halfway through Wargames Illustrated

My efforts for indexing my magazine collection are progressing steadily. By now, I have entered the first 130 issues of WI, halfway through my collection (runs till issue 259).

Battlegames and Miniature Wargames w Battlegames have been completed some time ago.

Once WI is done, I will try to tackle the older issues of Miniature Wargames. Henry Hyde has been so kind to send me a number of files from the MW archives, so I have all the data, it's just a matter of converting them.

The link:

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Simple scifi buildings

By sheer coincidence I bought some items last week (computer equipment ...) that came in boxes containing those pre-shaped cardboard forms to hold everything into place.

For some reason I saw this as a good opportunity to make some additional science fiction buildings for the next installment of our Antares campaign.

I trimmed the rough edges a bit, and added two spires from an egg carton, as well as some polystyrene half-domes I still had lying around (and that once served as chaos vortices in my Warhammer 3rd edition games over 20 years ago). I think they look convincing so far :-)

Next I should add some details (raid the box full of plastic bits), then spray paint the things and add more painting details such as numbers, decals, some weathering ...

I tend not to spend too much time on such projects, since the likelihood is they will be used once or maybe twice, and then end up as giveaways at the next con for whatever player thinks he can use them for his own games.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Making Mountains (4)

I managed to finish the mountains today for our Crisis 2015 game featuring Woodens figures.

As explained in my previous posts, the mountains are in the style of the Major Tremorden Rederring mountains: plywood, crumbled brown packing paper, steps to place figures on (a wooden corner profile strip). Green flock was added to break the monotony of the brown color. Some lichen are added to break the ground line.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Wet Paint: British paras and a weird fellow

Hot off the painting desk, the first painted figures in over a year's time (the last painted ones were from May 2014). Here are some old Britannia British paras and a Reaper Bones Mushroom man:

IMG 2616

IMG 2617

IMG 2618

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Cluttering up the table

The next game on my home table will be a WWII game using the venerable Crossfire rules. As you might know or not, all movement and fire in Crossfire is from cover to cover, so you need a quite dense terrain to have an effective game.

This afternoon, in between driving various children to various extracurricular activities, I set up the table to represent a fairly generic area, modelled on the western end of the Oosterbeek perimeter during Operation Market Garden. This is the table I came up with:

The game will basically be a German attack from bottom left to top right, with the gallant British paras and glider men defending. The goal for the Germans is to reach the building at top right (somewhat representing the hotel on Westerbouwing Heights).

Monday, 19 October 2015

Making Mountains (3)

With Crisis a little more over 2 weeks away, time to get serious.

Over the weekend, I glued crumpled brown packing paper to the mountains, such that they have a "textured" look. I also added some clumps of green flock to break the monotony of the colour.

Below you see some photographs, with some of the Woodens ready to ambush the poor French legionnaires.

Still to do: the mountains on the other side of the "divide", since below in the photographs you only see half the intended gaming table.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Battle of Lesnaya, first version

Some time ago, we played another scenario with my Great Northern War collection on my home table. The turn out was pretty good with Phil, Eddy, Koen and myself (obviously) playing the game.

The scenario was my first stab at the battle of Lesnaya, probably the second most well known battle of Karls Russian campaign, after the battle of Poltava itself. Lesnaya took place in the fall of 1708 when a supply and reinforcement column from the Baltic army led by Adam Lewenhaupt was intercepted by a flying column of the Russian army, before it could join Karl and the main army.

As the scenario was only the first attempt and needs some fine tuning and play testing, this post will just show some pictures of the proceedings:

And for those of you who scrolled this far, the battle was pronounced a marginal Swedish victory. The initial Russian rush managed to get into the forming wagon laager but was decisively beaten back by Swedish reinforcements. Of course, in reality, the Swedish also held the field at the end of the day and only disintegrated (for reasons mostly unknown) on the march the next day.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Making Mountains (2)

As mentioned before, this year at Crisis we will run a game set in the North-African desert, using our Woodens figures. The game will involve a convoy travelling along a road through the desert and trying to reach a fort. Along the way, Arab warriors will try to ambush the convoy.

I wanted to have a very long road, but that was abit impractical since it would result in a very long table. So we opted for a table that would loop upon itself, divided by a mountain range. Since mountains are very hard to represent visually on the wargames table, we took the excellent example from the colonial wargaming site by Major Tremorden Rederring, using mountain profiles. By putting various profiles behind each other, and by making little platforms, it can be made to look as if figures are really occupying the mountain passes.

My mountains are nowhere near ready yet, but in the photographs you see a little test setup of what the game will look like. Lots of scenery elements still need to be added, but more importantly, the mountains still need to be painted and textured.

Lion Rampant, 1st playtest

Yesterday we had our first playtest of Lion Rampant (Osprey), although this was more in anticipation of the upcoming Dragon Rampant rules, in our quest for the ultimate fantasy rules.

The game went pretty smoothly, although it was a bit difficult at the start to get used to all different numerical values for all sorts of different actions.

Also, we had some questions about the Courage rules. If you get casualties in a melee during the opponent's turn, you make a Courage test. If - as a result - you become Battered, you make another Courage test at the start of your turn. That seemed a bit harsh. But maybe we missed something ...

Definitely worth a repeat.

Here's the picture of our game, medieval knights vs. Orcs. The latter were used as a standin for Welshmen ;-)

The Second Coming

The recent nomination of this blog as Wargame Blog of the Month in MWBG (Miniature Wargames with Battlegames) is entirely thanks to Phil, as my own last post on this blog dates from over a year ago. The reason behind this is that my wargaming hobby has been at a very low ebb the last year.

As it always does however, the pendulum is now slowly but surely swinging back in the direction of wargaming, and this post is the first small inkling of things to come. The past year, the majority of my free time has been taken up by the resurgence of an old hobby of mine, hobby electronics. I've been playing around with resistors, oscilloscopes, opamps and microcontrollers instead of toy soldiers and paint. To wit, this is a picture of my workbench area in my cellar:

As you can see, fully half of it is now taken up by various electronics paraphernalia. One sure sign of the resurgence of the miniature war-games part however, is the fact that the other half, which until half a week ago was also filled with electronics stuff, is now fully dedicated to painting again:

I've moved my paint supplies back into pride of place, down from the shelves where they were gathering dust in the gloom, and dug out some 20mm WWII paras to paint. The next game I'm planning on my home table will be a Crossfire game set during the Arnhem campaign (probably the German assault on the Westerbouwing heights in the southwest corner of the Oosterbeek perimeter), and these figures will feature in it. Also on the painting desk are some Reaper Bones fantasy figures (mushroom men) and some GNW figures: Ingermandlandski pikemen and Sodermanlands Swedes.

So, slowly but surely, the wargaming hobby is becoming active again, and I fully expect that this year's Crisis will provide the final injection of enthusiasm to finally kick it into gear again.

Oh yes - the title of this post? That's the title of one of the most well known poems of my favourite poet, W.B. Yeats. The subject of the poem is the cycles through which human society and history goes where things always repeat themselves and come back. You get the link to this post's subject.

Crisis 2015 Floor Plan available

The Crisis 2015 floor plan is available. As always, very handy to plan your purchases in advance.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Making Mountains

For our upcoming Crisis 2015 game, and as previously announced, we will use our collection of Woodens. The game will be a convoy game, with FFL soldiers protecting a wagon traveling through the desert, while at the same time being ambushed by Arab warriors.

Since visuals are important, the game will be run on desert Kallistra terrain tiles. As part of the scenery, there will be some mountain ranges as well. I started to make the mountains alst weekend out of plywood, inspired by the mountains as seen on the Major Tremorden Rederring website.

Some photographs will folllow shortly...