Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Making a full forest

On the Piquet yahoo group, someone had asked how we model full size forests.  So I thought I would post how I've made mine.  I'm sure this isn't anything new but I hope it inspires someone to try it out.
First off I cut out some random shapes out of MDF and then primed them Black.
I then cut some dowels so that they were 1 inch taller than the tallest figure I would use in our games.  In this case I cut the dowels 2 inches tall so I could put a 15mm Sherman tank under them.  I then glued the dowels to the bottom of the base, using either 3 or 4 dowels per piece to make it stable.
The next step was to use some Woodland Scenics Bush Foliage.  I broke up a few different colors into different sized chunks.  I then glued the pieces to the MDF.
I found using Hot Glue was a great way to secure the pieces to the MDF.
When done I let the whole thing dry.  The only thing I didn't do right away, was to paint the dowels.  Next time I will do that as one of my first steps.
Here is one of the pieces in action.
This was a World War I game I based on the Eastern Front.  I hope you all like it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Battle of Dvinsk April 5th, 1915

My group and I played another WWI scenario using Too Fat Lardies' "Through the Mud and Blood" rule set.  I took the basis of the scenario from the Lardies' supplement "Stout Hearts and Iron Troopers" scenario 8 "Race to the Sea".  Instead of a battle between the Brits and Germans, I placed the battle in Russia in 1915.  I changed some of the victory conditions giving the Germans the need to protect the bridge in the middle of town and Russians the job of blowing it up to slow up the German advance.  The premise of the scenario detailed both sides starting on the table edge and moving to their objectives but the forces are spread out off board and would come in piece meal starting with Turn 2 and the flip of Allied or Central Powers turn card.  Each flip of one of those cards allowed a new squad to enter the board at one of the roads leading into town.  Here's a picture of the terrain before the game started.
The first picture shows the table from the Russian side of entry.  The second is the table lengthwise with the bridge in the middle of the table.
Both sides rolled randomly for their entry road each time a force entered and there was the possibility of 6 entry spaces for each side. (If I had a good photo editing software, I would have marked them).
The first turn witnessed the Russians moving up the road to the bridge very quickly and the Germans being held off where they started with the turn of snifter card.
The second turn witnessed the German blinds card coming up first and then the German turn card for their second set of reinforcements arrived in the same place for both blinds.  Out of the blinds you see two are dummies.
The third turn the German turn card arrived first and a third set of forces entered along the same road and then the German blinds card arrive and the Germans seized the day and started to move.  3 of the 6 blinds are dummies.  This same turn the Russians were able to bring on their second set of reinforcements.
They too seized the opportunity and moved out to cover the bridge.  There are four blinds on the table, one of them is out of the picture at the bottom of the screen.  2 out of the 4 are dummies as well.
A really good spotting roll by the Germans revealed a Russian squad moving up the road.  The two dice next to the unit are its action dice.  At this point the snifter card came up quickly for two turns and no real movement happened.  The sides used their dice to attempt to spot each other with little success.  This was about to change.
The Russians find a German squad strung out along the road.  The Germans repay this by finding another Russian unit by the bridge.
The Russians dig in to hold the bridge long enough to get their engineers in place to blow up the bridge. The Germans continue to advance and more Russians arrive on the board.
Another German unit becomes revealed and takes cover around the house and barn.  In the distance you can see two more German blinds moving to out flank the Russians.
The Russians draw first blood by killing two stands and causing two shock points.
The Russians continue to march forward. The tables are about to turn in favor of the Germans.
The Germans are spotted in the woods across the river and they brought with them a HMG!  Its about to get bloody.
That Russian unit in the house was next to the bridge but determined fire by the Germans forces the Russians to retreat when the lose their Bottle and fall back.  The two dice in the middle of the unit are the number of shock points on the squad (11).
The Russians reveal another squad.  In the back of the squad are the four engineers tasked with blowing the bridge.
Another Russian blind comes up to draw German fire to take the heat off the squad with the engineers. The die next to the squad leader reveals 5 shock points causing the squad lots of headaches in trying to move into position.
Now you see the blind, now you see the troops in the trees.  The murderous HMG fire caused enough shock points and kills to make it fall back.  The squad at the base of the bridge now has 11 points of shock effectively pinning it in place.
At this point the Russian commander called the game due to the inability to remove enough shock points from his troops to be effective.  This battle decidedly went to the Germans with the Russians retreating licking their wounds.
Overall this was a good scenario and collectively as a group we had decided that the Russian commander should have moved over the bridge with his first unit to help stem the flow of the Germans giving the Russians time to bring up the reinforcements.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Russians and Germans Clash in WWI!

On Sunday afternoon I will be running a WWI game featuring the Kaiser's troops vs. the Tsar's millions.  Actually it will be a platoon or two thrown against each other.  We will be using the Too Fat Lardies' rule set "Through the Mud and Blood!"  So long as I don't forget my camera I'll take pictures and post a little After Action Report.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Building some terrain.

Welcome to my first post and for my first posting I thought I would show how I made a small vineyard for our games.
I started off with some 1/8" thick mdf.  I cut out the basic shape and drew on some straight lines to help keep my rows straight.  I then trimmed down some balsa wood for the posts so they were a little shorter than our 15mm figures we use.  I then glued down the posts to the mdf and allowed it dry.  Once that dried I spread some Liquitex Matte Gel onto the board.  I then placed it in a box to collect the mixture of woodland scenics talus and medium ballast.  I then put it aside for 24 hours to dry.
Once the ground cover dried, I then spread some more matte gel in areas and then sprinkled a mixture of woodland scenics flocking onto the base. I tapped off the excess flocking and allowed that dry for 24 hours.  I then took some rope colored sewing thread and glued it to one end of the posts and then stretched it cross a line of posts.  As I pulled the thread taught I glued the thread to the top of the posts.  On the far end I glued down the other end of the thread.  I repeated this two more times.
Once all of this dried, it was time to add the vines.  I had looked at a few different websites before I started this and wanted to do some thing a little easier then some of the examples I had read about.  So I started with some woodland scenics lichen.  I tore some apart and glued it down to the base and then glued the strands to the thread.
I repeated this process for each little section until I was done.  I have to say this process slowed me down as I actually got picky as to how the lichen looked and tested each piece in the area before I glued it in place.
After about a two hours of picking through pieces of lichen, I finally finished it.
Here's the finished product with a stand of figures in the middle of it.
Here's a picture of it on the gaming table.  Its not perfect but it works and was relatively inexpensive.