Friday 31 March 2017

Spring is in the air - so its time to do some planting

Hi Folks

With the weather now warming up I can justify spending more time in the shed and so over the last couple of weeks I have been both building some new terrain and refurbishing some old. 

Hope the following is of interest

Up first are some simple fields. Whilst clearing the shed back in the summer I found a small bag of plastic aquarium plants. These are no more than a cm in height and have a small plastic stem. These look like great cultivated plants for 28mm (don’t ask what type of plants thought !).

It was a simple job to cut out some hardboard sheets – mark out and drill the peg holes and glue the plants in place. Once dry the field was given a basing of sand and ballast. This was painted up using chocolate brown emulsion. A quick drybrush and some grassy patches helped bring this to life.

Three fields which cost next to nothing

Add Walls for effect

Pretty good...will they work for arid climates

Yup....and yes I have two different coloured wall sets

Up second are my vineyards  - now when I decided that the peninsular was going to be deserving of my interest I quickly realised that I was going to need some custom terrain. Chiefly vineyards and olive trees. An internet search revealed that Noch produce both of these. An order was made.

The Noch Olive trees are good (if a littler small) but the vines are lousy and at £9 a box I was going to need a lot of these for meaningful terrain. I had to build my own. Casting around for inspiration on the web found a site that used woodland scenic armatures for the vineyards – Diary of a Gaming Magpie(

What a brilliant idea !!

Again I cut out some board for the fields (four in total) and then measured out the posts for each end of the vine run. The posts were bamboo skewers cut to length and fixed in drilled holes with pva. Between these posts were drilled several holes for the armatures. These were then cut to the right height with clippers.

A mature and immature vineyard in progress

The finished article

Once the tree armatures were in place I treated the base with the same material used for the above crop fields. Before the base was painted brown I sprayed the tree bits dark brown. Added clump foliage with a hot glue gun and hey presto

These will serve well for any mediterranean based game

Now whilst on the subject of fields I had some coir door mat lying around - perfect for wheat fields. These I cut into an irregular shape stuck them down on hardboard and treated the base. Easy job and they look great. Indeed we have used them recently in our M&T game.

Add caption

You might notice that one of the photos above has shows a tree in the field - lets turn the base around....

and you can see there is a peg for the tree to slot in - this helps enormously with storage and allows trees or NO trees on the terrain. The peg can always be covered up with a bit of lichen

So I decided to rebase all my deciduous trees - you know the cheap ones that come from China.

Up until now I had been basing these simply in hardboard bases. A drill was used to create a hole and then the truck pushed through and hot glued in place. The problem was that the storage for these was massive and they looked unsightly. A new option had to be found.

Again I stuck with the hardboard bases - all the old ones were re-purposed but this time I drilled out hole and then glued in a two cm high tube of styrene.

Prior to cutting the styrene tubes I sprayed them all brown on a piece of wood with bbq skewers to hold the tubes upright.

prior to the spray

These were planted dark brown to simulate the trucks. All I have to do now is pop the trunk into the tube and hey presto a tree is standing. Not only that they store so much better...
a woodland base with pegs....
The finished wood

Here you can see half of the trees based - could noit be bothered to set them all out for the shot but as my regular gamers can always testify - Eric the Shed loves his tree covered tables ! 

More very soon

Thursday 30 March 2017

Jason & the Argonauts part 7

Just a brief post this afternoon - I haven't forgotten this project promise !

part 6 can be found here

Indeed I promised myself that this weekend I would get round to finishing the plinths for the valley of the Gods. The other news is that the rules are coming along nicely and my heroic greek rules (aka Jason and the Argonauts are going to be tested soon.

Just a couple of figures to show - some giant scorpions from Reaper - great figures and good value for money

Indded i was so pleased with these I had to set up some scenes...and try out a couple of new camera settings

still trying to sort out the camera focus....

oh well more soon

Tuesday 21 March 2017

The Siege of Fort William

Our second Muskets and Tomahawks game in a week - the French try to take the Fort

With most of the terrain set up from the previous game I reconfigured the table and following the events of the previous game the French pushed up to siege Fort William.

- things did not go well for the French and their allies - enough said

three lessons were learned

1. Defending troops are very hard to hit
2. Indians assaulting the parapets need darkness on their side - do not try this in broad daylight
3. The French should have brought cannon..

More soon

Monday 20 March 2017

Retreat to Fort William - A Musket & Tomahawks scenario

Hi Folks

Believe it or not its been over a year since the Shed had seen any action from the French Indian Wars so on Monday night I decided to put things right.

The plan was for four players to take part in the game but sadly Legatus had to talk to Peru (business) and Mark had hurt his leg so he was unable to get over that evening. I did contemplate cancelling the event but my final player, Stephen, hadn't been to the shed for such a long time and he was really keen to get to grips with the ruleset.

In hindsight I am really please we pushed ahead - it was a great game, a close run thing full of cinematic adventure. Indeed there is much to be said for playing 1 vs 1. Its perhaps more relaxed, game play is swift and of course all of those tactical decisions rest on one pair of shoulders.

On with the game...

This was going to be a retreat game for the British and their Allies. Settlers had decided to establish a settlement deep in French held territory which of upset the rightful owners. A large force of French regulars, Canadian Militia and the Indian Allies were intent on driving the Settlers from their farms.

The table was laid out in three zones - at the back end stood the strong walls of Fort William, sitting on the banks of ther Tomahawk river. Units that managed to retreat across the river (the border) were deemed to be safe.

Beyond the fort lay the small trading post of Rays Landing - access to this could be achieved by the simple road running to the fort or by a small tributary of the Tomahawk river. George Springs was ably defended with a blockhouse.

Finally beyond Rays Landing lay the settlement of George Springs. The British forces in the area were scattered across these three zones. I'd decided to incorporate boat movement into the game (it was a big table) and so there were plenty of waterways that could aid movement. Canoes in M&T can move twice as fast as a walking unit.

The British objective was simple - for every combat unit that retreats to fort William scores three points (a unit could be damaged) in addition there were 10 settlers on the table - each of these retreating to the Fort scored one bonus point.

The French scored 3 points for every unit destroyed and for each settler captured (ie close combat they scored 1 point)

British Forces

at Fort William

1 unit Line Infantry (10 men) plus Colonel
2 units of rangers (6 men each) with canoes on bank outside fort plus officer

between the Fort and Rays Landing were another Ranger unit (6 men) camping in the woods

at Rays Landing

1 unit line infantry (8 men)
1 unit of colonial militia (6 men)
4 civilians (  no combat ability - move on militia card)

at George Springs

2 units of colonial militia (6 men each)
2 units of native allies (6 men)
1 unit of mohicans (4 men - elite, take 2 wounds to kill)
6 civilians (  no combat ability - move on militia card)

This gave the British 11 units to play with...once they lost 6 units the Morale card would come into play

The French Units

3 units of French Line (each 10 strong) plus officer
3 units of Canadians (6 men each) plus officer
6 units of Indians (with canoes) plus Officer

The Indians could start with hidden movement

The French forces would all arrive together outside George Springs - The Indians had the option of arriving in Canoes

Not only did the French outnumber the British their forces were significantly more powerful and were concentrated in one place.

Given the slow pace of the civilians, I, as the British player had to trade off their defence with the extraction of my own troops. This was going to be difficult.

Just a quick note - the civilians would move on the Miltia cards drawn from the deck - this would give them 18" of movement per turn (a full turn of the cards is one turn) - the distance from George Springs to the fort is a very long way.

So how did it play...

The British managed to evacuate the Civilians and won by two points - it was a close run thing
Apologies no AAR as things are very busy...

but enjoy the following photos...

Once again apologies for the lack of an AAR

Wednesday 8 March 2017

More Troops for Pike & Shotte

Hi Folks

Since Christmas I have had a number of things on the go on my painting table (kitchen table actually) and I have finally finished off the units I needed for my Pike & Shotte Armies

If you are interested in heading back to the beginning of this journey which I started last year head here.

First up are two units of Storming Parties - I elected to mount these on CD's given the Pike & Shotte rules don't actually call for removal of figures. The figures are predominantly Warlords with a couple of others mixed in...

Next up is a sniper unit - particularly useful to harass enemy commanders

Up next are three rabble rousers - we have been thinking about using these to 'boost' morale to certain troops. These figures are all Redoubt

Now of course the rabble rousers could command the two uinits of clubmen assembled - these are a mix of Warlord & Redoubt. The Redoubt figures are slightly larger but actually I think the height variations look good in these motley units...

With the clubmen came a few extra civilians - perfect for many periods

Now you can never have too many cavalry units and I was alkways keen to paint up the Warlord Games Harquebusier regiment. Mark and I have been using regiments six figures strong (they have smaller footprints than 12) so these 12 riders were given red jackets and green jackets

Finally a chance purchase on ebay of some plastic pikemen and a few odds and ends left over from the last build enabled me to field a large pike block of 24 men (most of mine are 16)

So thats it (for the moment) on my Pike & Shotte forces - I recently bought the Pikemens Lament so we might give these rules a pop in the coming days

Coming up soon a big Muskets & Tomahawks battle

see you soon