New Peninsular Campaign Players sought

So, the time has just about come. I’m looking to recruit some players for another go at the campaign using the online system I’ve been tinkering with on and off for “some time” (aka about 8 years).

I’ve tried this before (as you can see from the blog here!) and unfortunately the system had a few bugs which took some time to resolve, and it stalled when we found a lack of time to actually game out the battles. Losing several months of development on a memory stick and changing jobs while undergoing house renovations didn’t help either.
I’m hopeful that this time round a) we all have plenty of time!!! and b) technology can play it’s part and allow remote gamers the opportunity to play the battles they’re involved in using Tabletop simulator or similar. Additionally I believe I’ve squashed all the bugs that were immediately apparent in my localised testing and hazy recollection of what went before. (That’s not to say there won’t still be issues!)

The scenario will once again be the Peninsular, although a fictionalised French invasion in 1808 with the Anglo Portuguese already in theatre in Portugual. Manoeuvre elements are Brigades or batteries, and because the system tracks individual men in their constituent units (battalions, companys, squadrons etc) any battles that occur can be fought using a variety of rulesets and scales.

Turns will be run automatically every other day (ie 2 real days per campaign day), and in most cases will involve logging into the website, sending a few messages to fellow players, reading their messages and trying to figure out where your units have marched off to 🙂 When a battle is due to be fought, the system will pause until we can enter the result. As above, I’m aiming to have this done fairly rapidly to keep momentum and interest.

The overall “end game” will be governed by the French ability to capture Madrid and Lisbon. If they do that, they win. If they cannot do that, then peace will break out at some point to ensure that the campaign doesn’t go on as long as the real thing. However the main thing is for people to have fun.

Ideally, I think we need to have 2 British players, 3 Spanish players, and 8 French players. Each player will be furnished with a secret set of personal objectives, such as “be the first Marshal to write to Napoleon claiming Madrid”, or “Ensure that Spanish units are present at all battles where allies are victorious”. I’m not planning on having a hierarchical player command structure (although if there’s enough interest it might be an interesting exercise), and I’m hoping that the players will indulge in some light roleplay to liven things up.

If you are interested in taking part, please email campaign [at] notanotherblog.uk and let me know.

What did you do during the COVID-19 outbreak daddy?

If I had children, I’d imagine that this question might get asked at some point. And well, the answer would be “not a right lot”, although it has proved useful in a number of hobby related ways.

  1. It has prompted me to get this blog going again, which is no real feat in itself, except WordPress has moved on since I was last tinkering with it and with a new domain comes a whole new install. Still trying to work out the kinks in the old stuff.
  2. I’ve spent a lot more time than normal (which is saying something) looking at screens of one sort or another. This made me realise I should be spending more time looking at figures and brushes and paints than trying to view the world solely through pixels. Thus my painting output has registered above the “negligible” level it’s been residing at recently.
  3. It’s made me look at alternatives to figure gaming generally, having bought a couple of solo playable boardgames over the past 2 years they’ve been useful and I’m now investigating the possibilities posed by Tabletop Simulator which is a PC piece of software which allegedly will allow you to play traditional wargames over the internet, perfect for social distancing.
  4. I’m reinvigorated and re-enthused to work on the campaign system. More on this hopefully over the coming weeks.

For now, here’s a couple of images of things I’ve painted in the past week.

15mm Blue Moon Carriage passengers being robbed.
15mm Blue Moon highwaymen.
Properly finished and based 15mm Blue Moon Musketeer figures

Combat Patrol – Game set up

This week we are going to start a series of Combat Patrol games, in a narrative style campaign. The first game is a refresher of the rules and mechanisms since Combat Patrol works somewhat differently to every other ruleset we play, but the casualties will have a bearing on the games to come so hopefully the players will be careful with their tin soldiers lives….

The briefing for the two sides is simple. The Germans have 3 x 5 men teams (with 1 LMG amongst them) and a 3 man MMG team. They are the outpost line and may have dug themselves in. The British troops have 2 full sections (4 teams) and a Platoon command team. They are to probe the enemy and find their positions. If they can they should attempt to manoeuvre a team to the enemy base edge which will induce a withdrawal.

Apologies for the poor photo’s, they’re from my phone.

Figures a mix of FAA, Britannia and Lancer, farm from Commission Figurines, Hedges from Last Valley and trees a mix of Last Valley, home made and some new additions to my collection from Woodland Scenics, based and finished last week.

Table
German Forces
British Forces
New trees
Looking down the lane

The plan for 2017

Yes, OK, we are already 2 months in. 2017 is already looking like it will be a productive year. Spurred on by Hammerhead and some conversations over Christmas we have already had a series of Blucher games, and are working through a series of LOTR SBG games right now.

The intention here is to play the same ruleset for a few weeks in a row, to get familiar with them and learn, rather than choppig and changing all the time.

Next up on the list is going to be Combat Patrol. Having just bought 200 quids worth of hedges from Last Valley I am keen to put them to use. We will play an introductory session to refresh memories in a couple of weeks and then build the forces and complexity of the game for a few weeks.

As for the painting table, I have resolved to get some collections finished rather than worry about what we are playing next so I am sending some 6mm Napoleonics to a painting service and have one Spanish infantry unit left to paint myself – hopefully done tonight. Then I’m onto some trees, bought off the bring and buy at Hammerhead, which i based onto mount board on Sunday and just need to PVA and sand, paint and flock and that is all the 6mm/10mm trees i likely will need done.

After that? Dunno yet. My planning isnt that far along.

LOTR – War of the Ring

We played our first game of War of the Ring last week at Matt’s, using his Uruk Hai and Mordor Orks. I won, with the Orks, although it was the three trolls I had that did the most damage. We got a few bits wrong here and there but it’s a nice set of rules, different to classic GW games and flows pretty well. We’re going to play it more in the coming months, once I get some more Rohan painted. What I’ve got thus far barely makes 3 companies… I do however have more than enough bases all ready and prepped, having bought many from Warbases.

Click on the Pictures to get bigger versions.

Théoden, Eowyn and a couple of left overs

Company of Archers

Company of Warriors of Rohan

AWI Project almost finished

Finally got around to taking some pictures of my 10mm Pendraken AWI figures today. The collection is almost finished, and comprises 12 British regiments and 3 Hessian, along with a couple of artillery pieces and some Hessian Jaegers. I still have some more officers to paint up, which will be based on slightly less ridiculously large bases, and also a few more guns. I think I could probably do with some more skirmish troops, although most of the British regiments have had their Light & Grenadier Co’s painted and based separately, to allow for the creation of converged battalions. Lastly I could do with some cavalry.

Almost all of the figures have been painted by Andy Mac, although a few are my own work which although not as good, is relatively indistinguishable at anything but very close range. All basing on PWS Steel bases using PVA and sand then painted and with MiniNatur tufts.

Click on the images for full size versions.

The whole army mustered

British Units

British Units

British Units

The Hessians

British Units

British Units

British Units

British Units

Hessian Lieb and Jaegers

Hessian Musketeers

British Units

British Units

Also visible are some split rail fences I have painted up recently from the Baggage train. A bit flashy, but very good value for what you get, and a lot easier to do than making them. I will be buying some more as these will see service both with my AWI and ACW collections.

Getting antsy and “ooh shiny” syndrome

I’m having a bit of a resurgence in interest in doing “stuff” for wargaming, and as a result my brain is going overboard with ideas and lots of “ooh shiny” moments.

Currently I’m waiting on some 20mm buildings from HACME, have about 100+ LOTR Rohan figures to paint, the remnants of about 5 6mm Spanish Napoleonic units to paint, so it makes perfect sense for me to be thinking “I’d really like to get some more ancients. I wonder what goes with my Marian Romans/Spanish/Maccabean Jewish that I currently have” because clearly the Jewish don’t go with the Marians in any sense of contemporaneous sense!

I’m thinking DBA 3.0, and some quick and dirty ancients games to make use of my desert GeoHex which I’ve had for a few years and never actually used.

Then there’s the 15mm Vietnam project, for which I’ve recently bought 2 QRF hueys (urgh – review to follow at some stage) and 4 Revell Plastic hueys. Itching to get these on table and start playing some Charlie Don’t Surf, and think of how to interface that and FNG/Combat Patrol into a campaign type environment – almost certainly the existing OPS system I’ve got.

I also think I need to change the blog layout. The main page looked really smart when I started and was focussed on only a couple of things, but now it’s very diverse it needs changing.

Commission Figurines 20mm Farm

I’ve had a surge of enthusiasm recently since switching off the Flight Sim server for a little while and having a break/wind down from all the stress that was causing. As a result I’ve had a number of real productive sessions doing one thing or another for wargaming.

We have been trying to sort out a calendar of games for the near future, as too many weeks end up being “what are we doing next week” and as a result we either end up with Dominion, Carcassonne (Both great games in their own right) or something completely new. What we aren’t doing is playing a ruleset for a few weeks to get back into the groove, and therefore nights are spent more looking at the rulebook and trying to remember what the hell is going on, rather than enjoying the game. Anyway, this prompted me to look at what I wanted to do for a few weeks and I decided I wanted to play Combat Patrol with Matt, Richard and Peter, first in it’s WW2 setting, and then possibly moving into Vietnam again.

My 20mm terrain is looking pretty tired, and to be honest desperately needs revamping. So I bought the farm below from Commission Figurines. (www.commission-figurines.co.uk)

Commission Figurines Farm

I’ve got some of his other ruined terrain and like it so thought I’d splash out on something a bit bigger. A couple of days later I had a box of MDF in front of me. The kit itself is very straight forward to put together, to be honest I think it slotted together without glue for the most part in about 5 minutes. However, once built I wasn’t entirely happy with it. MDF is fantastic for some things, but representing slate and stone I don’t rate it up there.

So I set about customising the kit a little

First I glued some window cills and lintels cut from thin card. Using the same thin card, I cut some individual stones to put on the corners of the main farmhouse, as if that had been standing first, then the yard walls had been joined onto the building. Then I got some mounting board and made some shutters, scoring the front to represent planking. Then I remembered some laser cut shingles from Warbases which were left over from the 28mm Barn. So I used them on one of the 3 roofs. Of course, this just made the other two look even worse, so I took an old cereal box and cut some strips of tiles myself. They’re too big really for 20mm, and I did each strip freehand without reference to the one before, so some of the tiles don’t overlap quite right. But, the general impression is reasonably good. Last thing to do was to coat the entire surface in a mix of PVA, water and some ready mixed filler I had knocking around. This tip from Richard Clarke is very good, and it really does a lot to give a textured surface without going to extremes. It also is very useful for disguising the corner tabs of the MDF.

Commission Figurines Farm

Commission Figurines Farm

Commission Figurines Farm

Commission Figurines Farm

Commission Figurines Farm

Commission Figurines Farm

An overall spray of Matt Brown, then a heavy dry brush of “cashmere” and a lighter dry brush of “Ivory” (both Homebase tester pots) and the main walls were done. Dark green paintwork for the wooden fixtures, and black roofs dry brushed with Vallejo Black Grey and then very light GW Space Wolves Grey and we’re done, with the usual ground texturing and paintwork to match my figure bases.

I’m quite pleased with the overall effect. And it’s proved a useful test bed for painting buildings which will come in handy as I have 6 new scratchbuilds coming from Stephan at HACME Construction (Rapier Mini’s). Only problem is that I’m now even less satisfied with my old scratchbuild terraces, I think they’ll be getting a repaint and some shutters/new roofs shortly.

LOTR Rohan

Over the past year I’ve been doing something I never thought would happen, buying Games Workshop figures. Now, clearly, I’m not buying them FROM GW, that would be ludicrous given their prices and the vast amount that is kicking around on Ebay second hand.

I painted Theoden and Eowyn some time ago, but have only recently got their basing finished. Which is a happy coincidence as I’ve only just finished trimming the roofs on these two 4Ground Viking buildings I purchased at Hammerhead in February. I can’t quite stretch to buying the full blown Hall that 4Ground do, but I think these two buildings, supplemented by some stuff that Matt has will fill the “Rohan Settlement” scenery requirement for a while, although the buildings could do with a bit of weathering and so forth, they look a little too clean for me.

Rohan Smallholding in the woods somewhere

A couple of Rohan troops

Theoden King

Eowyn

I’m quite pleased with the figures look, the ordinary troops are simple block painting with an Army Painter Strong Tone wash, while the characters are getting a little more layering etc. Eowyn’s eyes were a pig, my usual technique struggled since her hair is in the way when approaching from the side of the face. Still, they’re not terrible.

Not sure whether I ever posted this, but here’s Aragorn as a little bonus. Painted him several years ago having been given a bunch of old models.

Aragorn

Aragorn