Sunday, 14 September 2014

Milestones, Memorials & MDF Buildings

Hi Folks

A few updates this morning wrapped up in one post.

Some great news for my ego - last night I hit the 200k Hits Milestone !



Totally chuffed to bits. In simple terms I have now doubled traffic to the website in less than 8 months. The goal of 250k by Christmas is looking possible. If this can be achieved by the third Shed Wars birthday on 19th December I'll be setting up a very special competition.

Enough of these ramblings...

As some of you will know I am hosting a game at this years BLAM - the title of this is the Angels have Landed and is set in the ficticious VBCW period. I needed to complete all the various bits and bobs required soon because the event is in less than four weeks. This week I tackled the pile of mdf buildings awaiting the finishing touches. They are now all done.


A couple of buildings


The Store


The Post Office






The thought also occurred to me that my village should have a memorial garden/park so a couple of hours later I managed to turn this pretty little thing out. All the bits came from my odds and end box with the exception of the railing fences. I'd sourced these from Fenris games some time ago.




The posts are actually Chinese chopsticks glued into drill holes.



The pathway is from some old embossed plastic sheeting and the memorial came from Ainsty castings.
 The lamps and benches came from a Chinese supplier on ebay selling railway scenics




Home Guard Figures are from Foundry - 28mm

and finally - yesterday morning I headed down to the toy fair at Sandown park for a quick wander. Loads of over priced toys but managed to pick up the following for less than a fiver in one of the rummage bins.



and as I left I saw these for £1.50 each - mint condition Star Wars pod racers - 2 per pack. These quickly got snaffled up - maybe one day Ill write up a set of rules for these.




PS BLAM is an invite only annual event open to likeminded individuals who regularly post on the Lead Adventure Forum. Its three days of games, beer and fun. This year I have the pleasure of hosting this at my local pub. We have even had special t shirts made up...




Thursday, 11 September 2014

Egyptian Adventures - Rocky escarpments

Hi Folks

Managed to start the next element of my Egyptian Adventures project...not only did the Pharoahs get buried in pyramids they also got buried in tombs. The entrances were often in the sides of a rocky escarpment. In addition the desert landscape is full of steep cliffs, wadis etc.

So this poses in interesting project. Like all y terrain I like it to be modular and fulfil a variety of purposes. If you have been following my blog you will be aware that all my base boards are 9mm Mdf squares (50cm x 50cm) with a few rectangles thrown in for good measure.

I decided that my cliffs would be mounted on the same said boards but would be interchangeable. This means that all the ends of the boards must match up.

To start with I thought I would build six standard boards giving me a run of 3 metres and four end pieces. I will need to build some curves. Fortunately I had some old pine boards that stand around 18cm tall - pefect for my needs.

I cut these out for the backs of the hills./cliffs and then used exactly the same side template for all the boards.


The first base


Yopu can now see in the photo below how they all fit together


The first run capped with two ends


 
By putting the ends together I can create a steep hill...



This all looks a bit boring so I better show you the next step...


filling in
As you can see from above the next step is to fill each of the boxes with cork bark for cliff faces and polystyrene for the infill. This is all glued in place using super strength interior adhesive.

A vcouple of these boxes will have tomb/cave/tunnel entrances

Once I have acquire some more polystyrene I'll be finishing off the boxes. The remaining gaps will then be filled with expanding foam, followed by a top coat of filler.

Who knows maybe Ill get some more done this weekend...

until next time



Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Indian Raid - An M&T scenario

On Monday night the Shed returned to the period of the French Indian Wars...its been a year since we last played this period and with three newcomers to the Muskets and Tomahawks rules I thought my Indian Raid scenario would be a perfect entry point.


The morning silence is about to be broken...



In this game the Indian players must secure plunder ands scalps. Each is worth points and the eventual winner gets the honour of leading the tribe. Plunder is hidden around the table (white tokens) and in the buildings. I have designed a series of cards for these ands they are drawn randomly when the plunder has been seized. No Indian figure can carry more than one plunder card.

Rolfs Indian warband arrives at the port (each player gets 3 plus leader)


On top of the plunder cards the braves are awarded one point for every scalp they collect. All scalps are worth the same. This has in the past allowed players to vent their full frustrations on my lead figures.


Plunder Cards


Scalp Cards


Of course the Indians don't get it their own way...each building has a settler card ranging from Little Old Lady Parsons through to a bunch of hardened old grizzly veteran trappers. In the game we played Monday night - Ray Burn John took the first scalp from Old Lady Parsons - boo hiss but in her dying breath she took out a brave. The trappers were not so fortunate as they became croppers to the violence of Rolf downthe Road.


Old Lady Parsons did not stand a chance


Elsewhere Steve Shot the Ox managed to find a pile of booze which intoxicated his braves for a good 4 phases.
'Pass the bottle'


As the warbands progress across the board the local inhabitants soon become wise to their antics. First up the guard from the blockhouse arrive under the command of  Colonel John Lewis, these were swiftly followed by the rangers and a small band of Indian Mohawks




Sneaky sneaky

Our rampaging Indians had to make a choice continue with the pillage or head for the safety of the riverbank. Did I mention that every dead brave was minus 1 on the final score? Of course greed gets in the way and our warbands pushed forward...not for long mind you...the muskets and rifles of the defenders began to tell.

telling rifle fire from the Rangers


The game is designed to last six turns - sufficient time for the Injuns to cross the board twice.

Ray Burn John soon realised that with the guard leaving the blockhouse the spoils inside were up for grabs. These he got but rather sadly he ran into a hail of lead as he approached the river. His leader lived to tell the tale but the shame of returning with -4 points has probably meant banishment from the tribe.
a very sad Ray Burn John contemplates life without his warbands



Steve Shot the OX (in real life Legatus Hedlius) managed much better not only did he manage to withdraw most of his plunder he also gained a number of scalps. The fire water will of course go down well around the campfire. Total score 14 points.

The Indians have to return to the river with their booty


Our winner was Rolf down the road, a rather violent fellow - 26 points and of these over half came from scalps. Congratulations to him.

It was a cracking game...the rules played brilliantly and we kept it all within a couple of hours...all too quick...

Not many of the civilians survived


Next Monday these guys are going to be play testing my VBCW BLAM game - The Angels have landed

Until next time 

Friday, 5 September 2014

Operation Woodchip - A VBCW Scenario

Last Monday saw a big VBCW game in the Shed to welcome a couple of new visitors..

These two new visitors both live in my vicinity (the furthest less than 500 yards from my house) but by chance they discovered my blog.

A pub meet followed and realising that we were all sane chaps an invite to the shed was extended.

In this game I set up the table to represent another part of leafy surrey....



Looking West to East
 
The following is the mission briefing given to the Attacking BUF players. Please feel to plagiarise this.
Operation Woodchip - BUF Briefing
The BUF are slowly spreading their grip across the South East but an enclave of Anglican troop s and local militia forces are firmly entrenched and dug in around the hamlet of Upper Snatch.

The BUF commanders mission is simple eradicate this resistance.
Your forces have been split into two flying columns approaching from both the east and west of the village. To the east you must cross the Surrey canal and to the West lies the river Wey. Authority has been given to the local commanders to determine your best course of action.


The Western Road Bridge over the river Wey and ruined abbey



The surrey canal - there was a foot bridge on the left hand side

Your troops are designated as Veterans – ie they save on a 5+
Air support is potentially available – each turn roll d6 (on a six you may potentially call in an aircraft). You are limited to two air support missions.

Artillery support is also available (one guaranteed mission).
Please note your observers must be able to see the targets – if the observers are killed you lose the opportunity of these.

Your western force will enter the board from the bridge on the edge of the board.
Infantry may cross the canal foot bridge.

Reconnaissaince has suggested that League forces are holding the west of the town and the Civilian Militia are holding the line across the canal.
 
Your Forces
Two Command Units (+2 Morale)
One Medic
Two Snipers
One Artillery Observer (in Unarmed Armoured Car)
One Forward Air Observer
3 X MK1 Panzers armed with MMGs & LT AT guns
1 X Lancia Armoured Car
5 x Six Man Rifle Squads
1 x Four Man SMG squad
2 x MMGs
1 X Mortar + Observer (+ Vehicles)


Fascist troops sidle up to the embankment
In addition to the above I had prepared the following mission briefings. These would be issued randomly in the game. In the end the BUF only got 2 - these are in bold

1 .BUF Intelligence Report….
It is believed that fuel supplies held by the militia are running dry. Nominate one enemy vehicle – it may only move twice once this card played.

2. BUF Intelligence Report
There is a secret tunnel running from the ruined abbey to the church – one squad could navigate this tunnel in six turns emerging in the church yard at the monument. If you choose to send unit in this direction let the umpire know.

3. BUF intelligence Report
The WW1 Ace Lord Flashgit’s silver plane has been seen in the area. If you successfully get an Air Mission you may designate this as a counter air unit.

4. BUF Intelligence Report
Local partisans are operating in the area – declare this to switch the partisans allegiance. (will not work on the boys in blue) – you may declare the change in sides at any time.

5. BUF intelligence report.
You may automatically call in a smoke barrage at the beginning of your next turn

6. BUF Intelligence Report

An inspirational message from Sir Oswald Mosley automatically removes one pin from every unit. May be played only once.

The following is the mission briefing given to the Anglican League/Militia defenders
 
How long can you survive

Those dreaded men in blackshirts are pushing forward into the South East. The Village of Upper Snatch has become a desperate defence. Bolstered by regular League troops the defence must hold out for as long as possible whilst the lines to your rear are strengthened.
Your forces are split between milita units and regular League troops. Unfortunately your artillery off table is in disarray so don’t expect and support from that quarter. However you can count on the dashing services of Lord Flashgit – the WW1 Ace. His plane is in comms with your command and can be called in at any time in the game for a strafing mission or counter air activity. Roll a d6 if you want him – on a 3+ he’ll arrive in his silver dream machine.

The League forces are deployed along this side of the embankment. You may occupy the pub and the bunker.

Deployment area for League
 
Anglican League Forces – All Regular

Command Units X 2
1 Lt Tank (MMG/LT AT Gun)
1 Rolls Royce Armoured Car HMG
3 Units of Infantry (eight men strong)
1 MMG
1 Med Mortar + Observer

The Militia (count as experienced troops but their morale is somewhat flaky (8+)

These guys are deployed in the village upto the railwayline. This may include the church.

The Village of Upper Snatch
The Church of St Dicks


Forces at your disposal are…

1 Command Unit + Medic (counts as aerial observer)
1 Med Mortar + Observer
1 X MMG
2 x Units of eight men infantry – rifle armed
1 x 6 man unit of smg armed troops
1 X Medium Tank – sadly this is a bit of a gas guzzler and can only move for three rounds
1 X Medium AT Gun + 3 crew (again this has been badly serviced – 1 to hit, -1 pen)

 
In addition each turn you might receive partisan support.
Roll d6

1-5 – no partisans, 6 Roll on table below
1 – a solitary sniper (will stay on board for two rounds before vanishing)
2 – the local hunt – six man unit of cavalry – enter the board from the south east road (only once)
3 – the local boys naval cadets arrive – 6 men unit arrive on a canal boat from the south west
4 – the local bobbies arrive from the south – 6 men unit
5 – Lord Flashgit comes back or arrives early – problem is his eyesight is going – 50% chance he will strafe your boys
6 – Gods Fist (an armoured wagon)revs up behind the church.

Believe it not the defenders actually rolled two sets of sixes getting the boys in blue and the local hunt to join the team

The Militia also got some briefings - three in total (bold)are the ones they got


1.       Treachery
Your spies have successfully sabotaged the local BUF airfield – there is a 50% chance any guns or bombs fired by BUF planes will be duds.

2. Exploding Cows
The pantomime cow is in fact an ied – explodes as a medium mortar in a 6 inch radius. If it is moved by opposition don’t say anything. The resting place is the centre of the detonation.

Spot the bomb...


3. Drunken Vicar
The local Vicar is as pissed as a newt but keeps rambling on about secret tunnels – a 6+ will tell you more.

4. You are on Gods side
Thanks to a rousing sermon from the local archbishop all units may remove one pin.

5. Train services now running normally.
Provided you still own the station a train runs into the platform next turn. This is carrying a squad of veteran home guard troops. The enemy may be alerted when the umpire closes the railway crossing gates.

6.Double Agents – if by any chance any of your units turncoat then play this to switch back their allegiance.


So how did it play...

Well for the attackers it was a nightmare. In the very first turn Lord Flashgit appeared and strafed the BUF column crossing the bridge. At that point they never really recovered in the west.

Carnage across the bridge

Fortunately this was the last that the BUF saw of Lord Flashgit and his silver machine

An aerial shot as he flies away.

 
With the Attack towards the embankment stalling the League forces pushed forward quickly knocking out the BUF armoured car


The violence of the explosion blew the turret into the field beyond

and the League Infantry pushed up into the fields..



 With God on their side the Leagues confidence grew and a small tank pushed forward into the BUF advance.
 
Despite surviving a blast from an AT gun on the bridge this confidence was punished by a successful close assault
 
 
 
As has been mentioned the BUF quickly discovered the hidden tunnel and a squad disappeared =out of view. Sadly for them the drunken vicar spilled the beans so when they emerged ion the graveyard they were mown down by a hail of bullets from the overlooking pub.
 
emerging in the graveyard...


Cant think of a better place to ambush them sir...
 

The BUF never progressed further on this front...
 
Lets head over to the other side of the battlefield
The BUF pushed up along the roads and tried to force their way across the canal. A couple squads got to the outskirts of the village before engaging in a furious gun battle with members of the Teachers union - they were called this as the starting point for these guys was the schoolhouse.
 
 
 
 
Meanwhilst BUF armour had forced its way onto the bridge only to be immobilised by the AT gun sited on the other side.
 
 
 

 
Before the panzer brewed up it managed to knock out the militias only tank...

Eventually the BUF mortar crew and observers managed to gain the heights above the village..


and realising their sniper had been left behind he took cover behind the local farm animals



At this point it became obvious the BUF attack was never going to succeed and with the clock ticking we called a halt.


Everything back to normal in Upper Snatch


Learnings:

Aircraft can be a right bugger - need to get some improvised flak on table
I had made the defenders forces too large
There were too many troops on table to finish in the night...

Until next time...

Which will be a Muskets & Tomahawks game