Thursday, October 21, 2021

Battle of Edgcote

The Royalists face their rivals

FG and I played a game of Never Mind the Billhooks on Monday. I picked the Edgcote scenario from Peter Pig's Bloody Barons (1st edition) because it features only two Battles per side (to start with anyway). I did not stick to the order of battle strictly, but tried to preserve the salient points of the battle (from what I could learn on some googling). The Royalists are outnumbered, have fewer archers, but start on high ground, and they have some Welsh pikes. The Rebels have more troops, more archers, and I decided to believe that they have cavalry, because it would make the game more interesting.

What was also interesting was the fact that FG played William Herbert in the WOTR campaign we played many years ago, and had painted command bases for him, which we used for this battle. However, I let him command the Lancastrians so I could take the "defenders", which I thought would be a more passive role and allow me to focus on the rules. Nevertheless, we did get some rules wrong here and there.

William Herbert rallies the troops

The game played pretty much like a standard medieval wargame with buckets of dice (more dice as I have larger units than the in the official rules), and I think FG did not fully appreciate the manoeuvre phase of the game or his advantage in archers.

The Event Cards added a nice touch, and I think are a good way of adding the uncertainty in WOTR battles that come from treachery or just plain blundering in a two-player game.

The Royalist arrows fall short

I do think the game will be even more fun with two or more players each side, and with each player having their own secret victory condition, like they do in some co-operative boardgames.

Welsh pikes see off the Rebel cavalry

I hope to play the game with more players again, once the lockdown lifts.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

A Tale of Sludge and Turnip

The two armies face off across a blasted field

FG and I played our first games of Sludge and Turnip28 last week. The two games have overlapping aesthetics, and feature roughly the same types of troops in around the same numbers, so it was natural to try both out.

Foot knights clash

We tried Sludge first, and as this was our first outing we got many of the rules wrong. I find the combat resolution a little too crunchy, but I love guessing ranges and rolling for bounce for the artillery. I am not too sure about the gore tokens, but I suppose once I learn more about my leaders and support characters I will appreciate the mechanic more.

Troops defend the redoubt

We then tried Turnip28, which I thought was going to be a simpler game. There was a bit of book-keeping with the Panic tokens, and we found that units fled too readily. I thought I was going to appreciate the black-powder smoke mechanic, but there were too few units in the game for it to be meaningful. We did play it without all the cult special rules, since none of the cults appealed to us, so perhaps the full game experience is different. I do feel that Turnip28 has the basics of a fun horse-and-musket skirmish game, but its retreat mechanic is obviously tied to its fluff and will need to be modified for a less comical game.

A group shot

This last photo shows (almost) all the figures which I painted for this project. It wasn't a lot of investment in time for me, since most of my existing WOTR/fantasy figures can be used in the game.

We will most likely give Sludge another go, and perhaps play one of the Sharp Practice campaigns if we can get the hang of the rules. I may also want to give Then Men Who Would be Kings rules a try, and see if we can represent some of the fluff with those rules.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Wayside Shrine for Sludge

Building the tower has whet my appetite for scratch-building terrain, and so I was looking around for some other little project to do, and came upon the idea of building a wayside shrine as a scatter terrain piece or an objective.

A quick search on google taught me that wayside shrines are a thing in many cultures, and even within each culture they come in a dizzying array of shapes and sizes. For a while I was seized with choice paralysis and could not decide on a design.

Then I remembered the Castlecraft sprues I have lying around, and decided to make one based on them instead of coming up with a design first and then making the parts for it.

The eventual model is what you see above. The walls are made from the Castlecraft parts, with a plastic grille glued on the inside of the windows. The base is a 40mm square base glued to a 40mm x 60mm MDF base, and the steps are made from Renedra bases cut to size.

I made a roof with PVC foam card and another Renedra base, and then made the shingles with cardboard. Some gaps in the Castlecraft pieces are also covered with the PVC foam cards.

I will be handing the model to FG to paint, along with the Warlord ruined cottages I built for him, so stay tuned for the painted version on his blog soon.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Scratch Built Tower for Sludge

One of the terrain pieces I have been wanting to make for the Sludge project was a tower. Not necessarily a utilitarian piece of terrain, but something to put in the background - I think including verticality to a wargames table adds a lot to the look. I have put off the project on the basis that it was not really a necessity (is anything really a necessity in a hobby?), but the lockdown left me with a little more time than I usually have...

As it so happens I used up this bottle of handwash, and wouldn't you know it the size is just about right.

I cut off the top part of the bottle where the screw threads are, and made a conical roof for the tower with a piece of cardboard. I made a base for the tower with 3mm PVC foam board, which gives it rigidity and is not prone to warping. I glued small rectangles of 1mm PVC foam card along the walls to mark the windows.

I made a gable entrance for the tower using 1mm PVC foam card. The door comes from a CastleCraft kit - it is more 22mm than 28mm, but works well enough. I added a metal ring from a jewellery piece as the door ring.

The finial on the roof is the end of a ballpoint pen (that's to FG for the tip) and the end of a banner pole from the Oathmark Undead kit. I added shingles cut from cardboard to the roofs using double-sided tape, and sealed them with a coat of PVA glue.

I applied a coat of Modge Podge to the tower and base, and when that has dried, I glued sand and gravel to the base.

I sprayed the whole piece with a brown primer, and when that has dried I sprayed a layer of flat white paint in a zenithal fashion, leaving some brown at the bottom of the tower and in the recesses.

I then painted the base brown and dry-brushed it with some grey mixed into the brown, and then applied some weathering powder to the base of the tower. I applied some light wash to the body of the tower to show some streaking.

The joint between the entrance and the wall was rough on one side, so I hid it with some vines.

The finial was painted to look rusted. For the windows I just peeled off the PVC foam card pieces I applied earlier, and painted the space black.

I applied more tufts than I had expected to to hide the bits where there was too much brown paint on the tower.

This was a fun and quick build, not accounting for the drying times. The construction is pretty crude, but I think the door and the finial give it the details that make it look more refined.

Saturday, October 02, 2021

WWG Barbed Wire Defensive Positions

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I wanted to get some wire obstacle sections for my Trench Hammer games. After some searching, I decided to get some World War Gaming resin pieces from an eBay store. These are made of a really nice resin, and come with barbed wire in the concertina form, which I though looked too modern for a sci-fi WW1 aesthetic. Instead, I chose to use the Army Painter razor wire and deploy them in a low entanglement fashion.

The paintjob was simple: I spray the pieces with a brown primer, then with beige. The posts were painted in brown - the woodgrain you see are actually from the brush strokes. 

I got a total of nine pieces, which I hope will be sufficient for my needs. Here you can see the height of the wire relative to a 28mm figure.