Sunday, 25 July 2010

Charnel pit / rough terrain WIP

I have seen this idea used before for a terrain feature and thought it looked pretty good. When the new WFB rulebook / doorstop came out I noticed the Charnel pit as a terrain feature and decided that it might prove pretty useful to have such a feature, so I set out on a Sunday afternoon to see just how cheaply I could assemble a charnel pit.

The Charnel pit is a area where bodies have not received a proper burial and so their spirits linger on. I thought what is going to be more potent than the lingering spirits of dragons / cold ones.

After a short period of time I had the basic components;

Small toy pack containing 3 dinosaur skeletons £1.00 GBP
1 pack of four self adhesive plastic floor tiles £1.00 GBP
From the hobby cupboard;
Glue, modeling sand & grass, paint & stones

Step one was to get out my saw and cut the bodies length wise to double the number of bodies I have. I then got out the snipers and cut up the bodies to try and generate a look of a collapsed skeleton. The bones were then arranged on the self adhesive tiles, which were cut to interesting shapes;

The bases were then covered in PVA glue and stones and sand were added in the conventional way.

The last step is then just to paint and flock...

Very simple and very quick, but I like the look of the pieces. Hope you do too. Six terrain features for £2.00 GBP and enough tiles left over for loads more fun yet.

I am now off on holiday / vacation for two weeks. So no posts until I come back. I am off to North Africa so I may be brimming over with ideas for tomb kings, or maybe not. Until then, have fun...

Monday, 19 July 2010

Secrets of the third reich: Soviet survivor platoon

I have no completed my first platoon for Secrets of the third reich (SOTR). The platoon is a Soviet survivor platoon which contains;

A Sergeant

PTRD Anti-Mech rifle

...and 5 privates armed with PPSH-Ks

I believe that they look a lot better painted. Helmets are taken from the Berlin or bust range of figures and the grass is a mixture of Silfur and GW.

I have attempted to use an ameba pattern on the capes, but I'm not convinced that I've got it quite right.

Time to move on to the next unit.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Jungle (ish) terrain

In August of last year my local club hosted a small local friendly tournament, which we invited clubs from across the county to attend. It attracted a fair number of players and good fun was had by all. The only slight fly in the ointment was that our clubs quality and variety of terrain received some negative feedback.

Players who were not familiar with our club suggested that with the exception of a few show pieces, the scenery was quite scruffy and did not appear to have a consistent look. It didn't hang together well. It was also suggested that the boards were a bit bashed and damaged.

As a club this came as a bit of a body blow. We had got quite used to the look of the scenery and hadn't recognised the problems with it. After a brief period of indignation, we stepped back and looked at what we had got. Isn't it funny how it takes a stranger coming in to point out the obvious to you..

We have since moved to rectify the problem. We went through our stock of scenery and threw out some of the older and shabbier items. We have since run a terrain building competition, which although did not have many entries did produce a number of high quality items.

We then set about creating a standard colour scheme and presentation style for all scenery. For example we have decided that all ground is to be painted scorched earth which is then to be dry-brushed up to bleach bone and flocked using a consistent flock. If nothing else it helps make all items of scenery look as if they are meant to be used together.

We have also tried to make our scenery more robust by adding board to the bottom of hills etc.

We have now set about replacing items that need it and adding to fill gaps that  exist. A couple of weeks ago I knocked to gether a whole load of bases for woods.

As part of this process, I have been busy bashing together scatter terrain for (alien) jungles. There is nothing new or unusual about the terrain or the process used. It is just bits and pieces salvaged off plastic flowers and cheap fish tank plants.

I tried fixing to a thin plastic taken from washing powder boxes, but that just warped, so in the end I have reverted to figure bases, and huge variety of bases as-well. Essentially anything that is left over from my various projects. I finally landed on the simplest system which was to sand, paint and flock the base before adding the plants. the plant holes need to be drilled in and then glued using plastic glue. No other glue appears to provide the level of robustness that I am after.

I have prepared and painted enough to cover an A3 sheet with no gaps between. Spread out that should be enough. regardless, I am bored of the whole thing now, so that will have to do for a while.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Secrets of the Third Reich

One of life's little rules should be "do not start a new game system until you have mastered all the ones you currently play".

Then again it is said that rules are for breaking....

Yes, you have guessed it, I have been tempted by the thought and sight of shiny new metal, not to mention the smell and touch of a crisp new rule book. I do like the smell of a new rulebook, it smells of potential victory.

So the latest rule system to find its way onto my shelf is "Secrets of the Third Reich" (SOTR) and the latest army is Soviets..

SOTR is a game system from West wind games and is based in Europe in 1949 with the assumption that the second world war is still ongoing, must European and some American cities have been "nuked" and almost every army are now using zombies and some have ventured into werewolves, mechs etc.

It is a platoon level game and looked quite fun when played by a few guys at my club.

I opted to go for the Soviets mainly because no-one at the club was using the Russians and partly because I always like to use the underdogs.

First glance at the rules indicates a game system built around a bit of fun. The artwork is generally poor and the rulebook looks difficult to interpret in some areas so I am not sure if they could ever successfully be used in a Tournament. However, having said all that it looks fun and played quite well....

So a few Russians have been based in readiness for undercoating and painting.

The figures are all westwind and are quite nice. The heads are supplied separate from the bodies, which in theory should give a fair amount of variety. In practice there is not a broad enough selection of heads to choose from so they all repeat quite quickly. I have therefore brought a head pack from Berlin or bust game system (also west wind) to make up the pack.

Not all heads appear to fit the bodies very well, but it does not require a lot of work to get them in soundly.

The figures are roughly 26mm scale and look quite fun. Time to see how well they paint up.....

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

New wood bases in readyness for the new rule set.

Our wargames club terrain is looking a little untidy so we have been having a go at replacing with new. This weeks project centred around putting together a few bases for woods.

The new rule system allows interesting things to happen dependent upon who enters them and what happens with random generation. To cater for this I have banged together a number of easy wood bases, with the plan that we can have a selection of different tree / shrub figures to place upon them dependent upon the type of wood that is generated.

The bases shown above are a weeks effort in base manufacture. I have built these by buying self adhesive floor tiles. the non-embossed ones are cheapest and are also exactly what I was after.

I then cut these to interesting shapes. I wanted to move away from the typical round, oval orrectangular woods. I have gone for woods which are either long and slim or which have gaps that hero / monster bases can hide within etc. I also have a few which follow around corners.

The thought was that if we had more interesting shapes it might make the tactical play a little more interesting.

On top of this I have placed a layer of PVA to help adhesion, a layer of builders caulk, a layer of PVA, sand and aggregate and then I have topped off with another layer of PVA to seal the whole lot in.

Normal painting and flocking follow.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Warhammer Fantasy; first play and the world cup....

England’s participation in the football world cup has now come to an end, so after a few weeks of 24/7 television watching and a suitable period of mourning I have re-entered the world of wargaming.

My local Games Workshop store had organised an evening of gaming with my wargaming club this week. We all brought along a 1000 point army and the store brought along the new rules and guided us all through an evening of version 8 mayhem.
It was a good evening with 8 of us playing.
I took along a strange little 1000 point list built around 1 Lord, 2 vampires, 20 ghouls and 20 units of skeletons. All legal under the new system.
My first thoughts are as follows.
1.         Magic is interesting. It is now possible to cast some of the very strong spells with relative ease. However, about a third of the time (11 out of 36) the opponent has only one less dice, so you only end up with a 50/50 chance.
2.         I opted to have forbidden lore on a level 1 Vampire. This meant he had every spell in a lore available to him and the option of using up to 6 dice to cast a spell. Potentially very powerful.
3.         Most of our guys had played a fair amount of Flames of war, so we were very used to pre-measuring, so we were quite used to this. I like this as a rule change.
4.         Large blocks of infantry become powerful. I managed to grow my ghouls up to 40 strong and they easily withstood a charge from dragon princes and destroyed them in the next round.
5.         Missile troops look quite useful now. Woods no longer block line of sight and I defy anyone to withstand a blast from 20 dark elf corsairs. Wow.
6.         The changes to artillery appeared to have very little effect. My group of players had got very good at guessing range anyway.
 All in all a good nights gaming and I look forward to a vast pile of FAQs and re-writing all my army lists.
 Great fun….


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