Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Joining the 100k Club & Happy Xmas

Hi Folks
Its Christmas Eve and I have hit the 100k hit target on the Shed Wars blog !
I would like to thank every single reader and follower for making this happen and may I take this opportunity to wish you all well in the coming festive season.
Have a Happy and Safe Christmas
Eric the Shed

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A special post

Apologies for lack of posts on the blog but things have been rather manic at work but as a special treat I have to share this with you all....

A rather good you tube video

If you are under 18 I take no responsibility...(no sex or nudity)


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Shed Wars goes all Blue Peter...really cheap but very effective dice trays

On a number of occasions I have seen other gamers use dice trays and I thought that's cool I'll ask for one for Xmas. However when I looked at the prices I said what ! - £16 inc postage for some wood and felt - I reckon I could make one for half the price.

Hows about two for £6?

Read on

First up I needed a wall that could surround the tray - I searched for wooden circles, discs etc but nothing worked. By chance I came across the term wooden washers and this directed me to a custom car site for music nuts. A moment of inspiration hit me - speaker housings.

A quick search on ebay revealed these two babies for a grand total of £6.97

ebay site for speaker housing

A few days later they turned up.

Today. Now Ive been going a bit stir crazy so I thought what the heck lets build these now. Fifteen minutes later the bases were cut from scrap 10mm mdf  (it was cold in the shed) and some off cuts of felt  were procured from a failed gaming mat.

MDF Base cut

Measuring inside felt - be sure to cut extra so excess sits inside housing

Glue felt (pva) to base

Screw down the speakers bases and jobs done  - total elapsed time 25minutes

Finished article - less than £3.50

And before anybody asks - yes  they do work - the dice don't jump out, always roll ones etc..

I might one day paint the bases...maybe I should make up some with Shed Wars branding?


and thanks for reading


Friday, 6 December 2013

Shed Wars 2nd Birthday !

Gosh doesn’t time fly, it only seems like yesterday that I decided to set up the Shed Wars blog to record for posterity my wargaming hobby (or is it an addiction?). Well today the blog celebrates its second birthday and quite a lot has actually happened.
Lets start with the stats.... last year I reported that I had achieved 25,000 hits and that I had almost 80 followers. This had been achieved on the back of just over 50 posts. I set myself the goals of trebling the number of hits to 75,000 and doubling the number of followers. Could this be achieved?

Well I am delighted to report that I have achieved both goals. I am delighted to report that my follower count has risen to over 180 and that I am in touching distance of achieving 100,000 hits. With a bit of luck this figure could be achieved by Christmas ! Not too sure if this is a momentous number in the grand scheme of things but I am quite chuffed. There seems to be a habit of awarding prizes when these milestones are achieved so not to be outdone I will come up with some kind of prize when this magical number has been achieved – watch this space !

Of particular note was the month of October when I achieved 10,000 hits in one month. I was rather pleased but to do so again might be a tall order. Average daily rates seem to have settled around 200 hits per day.

So my ambitions for 2014  - lets push the boat out...

#1 – increase the number of followers again from 180 to 300. If you are reading this for the first time or drop by on a regular basis please do tick the follow box – you will do my ego a load of good. In return I promise to follow your blog !

#2 – push the total number of hits to 200,000 – ie another 100,000 - this means I need to average c300 hits per day – this I believe is achievable by adding more relevant content, adding links to previous posts, posting more on other forums etc

This is a good time to reflect on what has been achieved during the year...in no particular order

·         I attended all the major shows in the year – Salute, SELWG, Warfare, Colours & Cavalier

·         I hosted games at Matakishi’s Teaparty and Blam 2013

·         I have met a load more folks as a result of these.

·         We have continued to play games across the year in the shed – a particular highlight being the big Pirate game

·         At the beginning of 2013 I finished the Pirate terrain, figures and ships – more games to follow

·         The next big project is coming to the end of its build – The Tales of Shedwood – Nottingham the Medieval city is built and we are playtesting the rules

·         Saga has become a big feature of the shed with its ease of set up and furious play

·         I have spent too much money

·         Big terrain items have been completed, castles, cliffs, coastlines, bridges and palm tree forests....


Its all been good fun and based on the comments received (over 600 this year) it mostly appears to be of interest.

Unfortunately Basil the Wargaming Hamster passed away earlier this year but his memory will live long in this written record. If our cat has her way she might become the next furry sponsor of Shed Wars!

So what about 2014.

The great thing about this hobby is the diversity of activity within the hobby, whether it be modelling, painting, terrain building, research, blogging and even playing. All these have their place and I get equal enjoyment from most. Which is a good thing as I love to arrive at an idea and then work my way towards the end goal. Over the last two years I have focussed on three big projects – the French Indian Wars, Pirates and Robin Hood. All of these have focussed on the 28mm scale and can deliver big visual heroic games. There are transferable elements for each across terrain and figures which has made life easier. But the real question is what next?

At this moment in time I am mulling over several ideas – including Pulp, a very British Civil War, Fantasy Dungeon settings or Space Opera....or maybe I just do them all. I do know that I want to build an Arctic terrain board complete with Ice flows, snowfields, crevasses and pine forests – but for what period ?

Lets see what the new year brings

Once again thank you to all those who do follow, a thank you to those that read but don’t follow and thank you to all those in the hobby that make it so interesting

Happy second birthday Shed Wars – its been fun




Monday, 2 December 2013

Stalling for time - Nottingham Market

First up a big apology for so few posts recently. Things have been manic over the last few weeks and what with the colder weather I have got very little done in the shed.
I have however finished the market for Nottingham. Originally intended to build my own and you can see from the picture below Id even made a start on the basic frames.
However this was going to take too long and a chance discovery at Warfare in Reading found the following stalls from SHQ miniatures. A link can be found at the end of the blog.


So the Market stalls sit proudly in the town square...but it all still looks a little bare...

So a few trade goods were added...again it all looks a bit empty...what do we need people..!!

The following photos were taken with the camera phone and if anything they are better for close ups than my Nikon

what you see here are about 25% of my medieval city civilians - more will be posted soon

The Stalls were purchased from  these guys for £5 each...

SHQ Miniatures

I could only get one at the show but they posted the other three immediately after the show and they arrived four days later.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The Hundred Years War: Henry V versus Joan of Arc

Monday night – games night!

Well a bit of a change this evening to the usual fare we decided to play 10mm Warmaster Medieval. We agreed on a 2000 points aside game featuring a ficticious battle between the chevauchee forces of Henry V versus the latter Hundred Years forces of Joan of Arc.
I created the army lists before Mark I arrived and we diced for the forces, this way I could not be accused of picking the best side. For those of you interested they were as follows

Joan of Arc – General
Nobles x3
Mounted Knights x4
Dismounted Knights x4
Scots X2
Retinue Foot X2
Genoese Crossbows X4 (inc Pavisses)
Handgunners X2 (inc Pavisses)
Cannons X3
Henry V (General)
Nobles X3
Mounted Knights X2
Dismounted Knights X2
Mounted Sergeants X4
Hobilars X2
Mounted Longbows X2
Longbows X8
Peasants X8

As can be seen above the English forces (being Chevauchee) have more mounted troops, significantly more missile troops but are distinctly lacking in infantry. Aside from the Knights and the Seargeants all the forces were unarmoured.


We rolled for terrain placement and then lay out our battles. We agreed that we would keep each contingent to a maximum of four units for ordering purposes (as per fantasy warmaster) as opposed to moving battles on mass.

Now apologies here but after the first five photos the camera packed up so rather than write up a pictorial AAR I can only show you a few photos of the early part of the game.


The English started (me) and rather fortuitously I got all my orders – in Warmaster to command a unit to do something outside of initiative you need to roll under the leaders command skill on 2d6 – this is mofified for terrain, subsequent orders etc). It does mean that sometimes forces you want to move never budge – and I was able top advance along the line towards the French and securing the woods in the centre and on my right flank.

 Mark unfortunately wasn’t able to move as many troops but he did manage to bring up his missile troops on my right flank and managed to score a few hits. Blood had been drawn and the battle commenced.


The French Horse and Men at Arms

The First Charge

It all went a bit wring for the English after this charge, the French Infantry advanced and began to throw their weight around. Some lousy dice and poor judgement calls put my English on the back foot for much of the game.

In the end the French whooped the pesky English - we'll refight this again - the French are much more formidable than the earlier hundred years list where they tend to get shot to bit bits by longbows.

Whilst the figures were out I took some piccies with the camera phone of what I believe is the best 10mm Medieval range out there - Kallistra



Mounted Hobilars - Kallistra

Mounted Knights - Kallistra

Handgunners - Kallistra

Mounted Seargeants - Kallistra

Longbows - Kallistra

Crossbows - Kallistra

Mounted Longbows - Source???

Men at Arms - Kallistra

Peasants - Kallistra

Nobles & General

Teutonic Spears

If you want to see some more pictures of 10mm Medieval on the blog head over here

More 10mm Medieval goodness

The proper camera is now fixed !


Sunday, 24 November 2013

Eric the Shed 'immortalised'

Its not often in life when somebody decides to name something after you but last night was a very proud moment...my nom de guerre 'Eric the Shed' has been immortalised on somebody elses wargaming table !

A big thank you to Mason (Paul)

A full write up of his Western Project can be read here...

Mason's western project

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

St Oswalds Tongue - A Tale of Shedwood

As mentioned in my earlier post last Monday saw the first adventure in the Tales of Shedwood. This was very much a playtest of the rules and if I say so myself they went rather well. A few tweaks are required but we are getting there.

A big thank you to Matt (Robin Hood) and Mark (Guy of Guisbourne) for their support and advice.

I'll start with the scenario and as I work through the simplified AAR I'll drop in snippets from the rules...

The Small chapel of St Oswald lies on the edge of Sherwood Forest, a days ride from Nottingham. It is a famous pilgrimage in this part of the country as it is the resting place of the old martyr known as St Oswald. Oswald was beatified when he single handedly talked the marauding Viking war party to turn back from the evil ways and embrace the spirit of God.

Immortalised in tales and legend his tongue has become a powerful relic and is said to inspire leadership and oratory.

It has long been known that the Sheriff of Nottingham covets this relic and wishes to add this to his collection. He has instructed his henchmen, Sir Guy de Guisbourne and Black Hugo to recover the relic and bring back to Nottingham.

Fortunately for the locals the Sheriffs intentions have not gone unnoticed and a message has been sent to Robin Hood. Said Robin has decided such a theft should not take place and has such determined to thwart the Sheriffs plans.

The Village and Monastery of St Oswalds
As can be seen in the above picturethe forces of the Sheriff of Nottingham lead by Guy are entering the table from the bottom right. They have to enter the monastery and sieze the relic. Once captured they must exit the board from their entry point.
Guy of Guisborne

Each player has a number of order tokens equal plus one to the total number of units he is commanding. Guy was commanding seven units so therefore he received 8 tokens.

At the beginning of each turn the player then places these tokens on his Battle Order Board (BOB). BOB is a grid with the Unit forces described across the top and the order types listed down the side.

The unit will perform the listed action as and when the player wishes.

Battle Order Board: The Commander writes in the name of the unit in the Top Boxes

In addition he receives an additional number of tokens equal to his command rating. Once used these are then disposed of and cannot play a further part in the game. These should be a different colour to the standard tokens.

These command tokens can be used as follows:

1.       As an additional order. Placed in the usual way.
2.    Or used to modifier set of die rolls by +1/-1 

The Unit may move up to its full distance – if it closes within 1 inch of an enemy unit go to combat
The unit if missile armed may shoot at any single unit within range
If the unit is crossbow armed the unit may reload
Defensive Formation eg Shield Wall
The unit may form a defensive posture – thereby receiving a +1 save in melee combat = the unit remains in this position until it moves. Units defending cover may not receive this order.
The unit may attempt to improve it morale
Cost of two tokens – unit may perform any of the above tasks in its sides turn

 No unit may perform more than two actions in one turn – these maybe the same actions

Order of play. The players roll a dice the highest begins first by actioning one of his orders on the board. Once this has been completed play switches to the next player and then back again. In multiple player games the players on joined sides may agree the order they play.
The turn ends when all tokens are in play. Clearly if one side has more tokens than the other he will play out the rest of his turn once the tokens are spent.

Guy's Mounted retinue
Add caption
Guy started to move his troops through the village past the smithy and towards the monastery. The mounted unit leading the way.
The Village of St Oswalds Cross
The Smithy
Robin Hood meanwhile was leading his men through the Forest to the wood edge where ghe was hoping to ambush Guys forces 
The Merry Men enter from the Forest

Robin, as a leader, not only can fight but he can also lead his men into battle. He can also use his Luck and extra command tokens to affect the battle.
All of the commander have a score for Luck and Treachery. These numbers denote the number of times that they can use these skills in a battle.
These skills can be used to enact the following:
1.     Cancel the play of a Leaders command token – the Leader may still place another command token on the board after the luck treachery skill has been played ie it helps to burn them up
2.       Luck points may allow the player to:
a.       Reroll all the dice of a given set (to see if his luck fares better)
b.      Add +1 to any dice rolls before they are made
3.       Treachery points may allow the player to
a.       force the opponent to reroll any hits or saves that they have made in combat
b.      Subtract -1 to any die rolls before they are made
His merry men act as Knights - Little JOHN, Friar Tuck etc These guys can bolster the morale of an attached unit, add extra attacks etc.

Robin 'the Hood'


Little John & friends

As the Sheriff's forces advanced Robin's men let fly with their longbows

Take Aim

Archery (and all missile fire) is quite simple and deadly
Missile Weapons have two ranges effective & long – A missile requires a 4+ to hit at effective range and 5+ to hit at long rage
Weapon type
Effective Range
Long Range
Armour Pen
Other Missiles
To Hit Modifiers
+1 if target mounted
-1 if light cover *includes large shields
-2 if hard cover * includes pavisses
Because they are so deadly - the Sheriffs forces just kept getting mown down we have since decided to reduce the ranges by 25% (now longbows have range of 9" and 18". I am also thinking that the to hit score will be modified to 5 at effective and 6+ at long range.
A duel opened up between the xbows and the archers. With their slower reloads the crossbows came croppers in both games.

Exiting the Village with crossbow men taking cover in the wattled garden

Crossbowmen taking cover in the vegetable garden

Meanwhile several horsemen had ridden up to the Monastery - they can be quite fast.
Depending upon how many tokens are on the unit (max of two) a cavalry unit could move 24" in one turn !

Outside the Monastery

The burst into the monastery to be confronted by a number of fanatical Templars intent on keeping the relic safe.

A violent encounter

Melee combat is driven by the type of unit (attacks and armour) and again is very simple.
The Unit will have the following characteristics
Calibre – the level of training = number of attacks per stand
Armour – how much armour the unit has (will denote movement speed)
Weaponry – Types of weapons inc missiles
Morale – How pumped up they are for battle
A Unit is designated by the number of troops – typically units will be based in multiples of 6

Unit Size
4 *ignore mounted reduction
6 max
Men At Arms
6 (12 max)
Trained Band
6 (12 max)
6 (18 max)
+1 Attack if Mounted -
- the points score is still to be determined so please ignore this column.
Needless to say that the mounted men at arms did not fare well against the Templars and were sent back in retreat

Retreating from the Monastery

Elsewhere the Sheriffs forces advanced on Robins forces in the woods

The Retinue Advance


Forward boys
Although they managed to eventually reacjh the edge of the woods their morale was shot to pieces as were a number of stands.
In both games the relics stayed safe in the sanctuary of St Oswalds. 
1. The Warbows are just too powerful when used by lots of figures, by reducing the size of units (from eight to six) and reducing their hit potential (dice and range) we have created a more balanced effect. Initially I had given Robin and his key men two shots per phase this is now reduced to one but they get hit benefits.
2. Combat is brutal, simple and neat. Knights are the best unit in hand to hand as they should be with a degree of good protection.
3. The battleboards allow for fast play with orders effectively designated in advance.
4. Luck and treachery rerolls do create a sense of delight & frustration !
More to come very soon...