Sunday, 21 February 2016

6mm Camps and Buildings

A tabletop battlefield can sometimes look better with a bit of relevant clutter on it (especially if kept conveniently out of the way of the action). To that end I've been working on some 6mm camp bases that I can use in a number of periods, from Renaissance to the 19th century.

I'm mixing some Baccus metal tents, including their nice command tents, with some simple scratchbuilt ones I made a while ago but am just in the process of re-painting.

Here's the first batch, Baccus in the background, my own in front. Mine are a bit bigger, but I think they look OK together on the table. They're just intended to give a sense of the big army camps anyway. To be honest, I think a Baccus miniature would have to remove his over-sized headgear, and possibly even his head, to actually fit inside the smaller tents! ;)

And here's everything finished:

I have some ideas for how these camps may play a part in certain types of scenario. I'm thinking of things like the night (or even the morning) before some battles in history, like Blenheim for example, where the scouting out of the enemy's camp formed part of the attacking general's battle plan.

There may be some scope to have a the defending player set out his camp as a pre-game indication of his army's dispositions, from which he will have to deploy on the day of battle. Having 2 styles of tent rows, in addition to the command tent bases, will allow for distinction between infantry and cavalry formations. One to try out sometime, perhaps with the SYW project when it hits the table.

I've also managed to paint (well, dry-brush really) a couple of Timecast buildings. Here are a rustic railway station and a generic wooden barn (I think it's from their WW2 Russian range so I tried to cover the drain pipes with foliage to make it less period-specific!)

Friday, 19 February 2016

More Rampant Dragons

.. now there's an idea. I need to get a dragon on the table for a game - nothing like a dragon to get things looking like a true fantasy scrap!

Anyway, this week I squeezed in a quick game using one of the scenarios in the rulebook - Scenario C - Death Chase. This involves one side running the gauntlet down the length of the table while the other converges from the flanks to stop them. I set it up as a Kislev force on the run and Beastmen doing the ambushing, on a 4' x 3' table with plenty of undulations and trees. I also selected Quests for both forces, going with the ones that seemed most plausible for each side.

It was a very interesting game, swinging nicely one way and then the other as activations succeeded or failed. I initially thought the trap was closing quickly enough to catch all the Kislev units before they got too far onto the table, but by the mid-game they'd made surprisingly good progress (albeit by sacrificing their slower moving infantry!)

Overview pic of the early stages, with the Kislev light riders making a run for it while the Beastmen converge:

A flurry of combats, made interesting by plenty of units being subject to the Wild Charge rule, resulted in an exciting finale which saw only one Kislev cavalry unit escape while the rest were destroyed. Things were evened up a little with good Kislev results with their Quests, but overall it was a 9-6 victory for the minions of Chaos. The rules seem to produce fun games where there's always a twist in the tail. A battered unit, for example, always has the potential to implode right at the end as it tries to rally, potentially affecting the result.

Centigors aiming to get ahead and cut off the enemy horsemen:

Just when you think you're the toughest fangy, clawy monsters around, someone bigger and nastier turns up:

I'm enjoying Dragon Rampant a lot, and will aim to play a few more games in the next week or two. Got to dig out a dragon though.. :)

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

A Slow February

The dearth of posts this month hints at my lack of project and gaming progress. It's not all been a washout, but some time away, being busy at work, and a nasty cold have all taken their toll on hobby time and energy.

I have achieved a few things;
  • A bit of a games room sort out, to create more storage space. Coupled with the loft being boarded out and a proper ladder being installed at the end of the month, this will give me a big boost in the flexibility I've got to store bulkier items like terrain, 28mm scenery and modelling materials. The trick will be to not overdo things and just fill up the new capacity!
  • Based and painted some old Irregular Miniatures 1/300 trees in small groups, just to get them off the lead pile.

  • Mostly painted a 1/300 Russian church - I'll post a pic when it's finished.
  • Made a couple of additional internal river corners from 12mm styrofoam (high density polystyrene) board, and I'll make a couple more outer corners soon too. This will allow me to have a more meandering river, or a lake with a big island in it, etc. Here are the new with the old (which are made from marine ply) - no difference other than 2 of them being lighter and more fragile:

  • Made a 1 foot square terrain board for Frostgrave, again from styrofoam. This was a test piece, inspired by Goat Major's excellent desert city terrain. I just used a biro to etch the paving slabs and cracks. This board, and the 3 others I'll do to make a square area, can be used with my existing winter terrain boards to give me a decent base for setting Frostgrave (and other) games.

  • Done some thinking and prep for a few small campaign ideas. Some of this is around simple rules to link games for a variety of periods - I'm on at least version 3 but I'm getting there! I've also been doing some storyline work on my Medetian Wars setting for Sharp Practice, although I'm holding off a little until the 2nd edition of the rules come out as I'd like to check them over and incorporate any important or interesting changes they bring.
  • Re-visited my collection of 1/3000 sailing ships with a view to getting more of them painted and onto the table at some point. These are Napoleonic ships, but I think the wars of the mid-18th century appeal a bit more. No chequerboard paint jobs (impossible at that scale anyway!), less British dominance/superiority, plenty of campaigns, battles and settings, the C&C challenge of maintaining a line, etc. I'm looking for fleet battles, not frigate actions, so some simple rules will be needed too. A slow-burn project, but one I'll come back to for sure.
Now, if I could just get some figure painting done too..