Terrain Week

I needed a break from painting my Germans for Chain Of Command, so starting this past Thursday, and finishing today, I worked on terrain.  I planned on making some bocage, but after a trip to the hobby store, I ended up with some strip styrene to make tank traps with.  Then, I saw some great 15mm stone walls on Brookhurst Hobby’s site, so I ordered those.

bocage_start bocage_start_cross_sectionIn the model airplane section of my local hobby store, I found this curved piece of wood, as well as the flat pice I used as a base.  This will serve as the basis of my bocage.  I glued them together, let it dry overnight, then cut them with a circular saw, since I don’t have anything more subtle.  Then I sanded the sharp edges to a slight curve.

tank_traps_start tank_traps_start_2At that same hobby store, I found this strip styrene.  They had all kinds – I beams, hollow square, etc.  I thought it would be perfect for tank traps.  I used superglue to make the tripods, and glued them to some leftover wood from the bocage base.

The mini is a 15mm Sci-Fi soldier from Rebel Minis.  I’ll be using him as a size reference today. For you Flames Of War players, he’s almost exactly the same size as Battlefront’s plastic soldiers.

walls_startThese are the 15mm walls, cleaned and ready for primer.  They are resin, and are made by Peter Pig.

bocage_primed bocage_with_rocks bocage_with_rocks_paintedI primed the bocage black, glued some model railway ballast rocks to it, and let it dry overnight. Then I used some leftover Citadel sepia shade on it, and let that dry.  Last, I dry brushed it gray.  I like the black / brown / gray combination.

tank_traps_primedI used some vinyl spackling mixed with sand to fill in the base of the tank traps.  I talk about that process in several other blog posts.  I let that dry overnight, then primed it all black.

 

wall_primedAt the same time, I primed the stone walls black.

tanktraps_top tank_traps_completeI painted the tank traps and base.  I used the sepia shade on the base to good effect, I think.  I could probably use more practice painting rusty metal, though.

walls_closeup_full walls_extra_closeI’m really happy with how the walls came out, and they were really easy to paint.  A dry brush of gray, followed by a dry brush of white.  Then a green dry brush for the grass, some light dabs of tan, and a tan paint for the weeds.

The gate is brown, with a yellow-brown highlight and a black wash.

bocage_complete_side

bocage_closeup_2The bocage was a lot more work than the rest.  I used Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue.  I spread it all over the top, then stuck the foliage on it.  I used several different colors.  After it was dry, I touched it up with some more glue and foliage.  When that was dry, I soaked the whole thing in watered down PVA glue.  That took 2 days to dry, but they are pretty solid now.  Nothing is falling off these bocage.

Finally, some static grass on the edges.  I think I need a “greener” static grass.  This is “winter grass”.  I need to get some “summer” grass or something like that.

treesI had originally ordered some Woodland Scenics trees from Amazon when I ordered the foliage, but they turned out to be too small to stick on the bocage, so I based them on the last of the leftover base wood from the bocage in 2 groups of 4.

all_terrain_on_workbench all_terrain_on_grassThe fruits of 7 days of labor.

I’m going to get back to painting my Germans, but at some point I need a lot more trees, some more tank traps, some farm fields, roads, minefields, etc.  The list goes on.

I really enjoy making terrain.  It’s a nice break from painting minis.  Now I can attack my Germans with renewed enthusiasm.

Chain Of Command Will Make You Re-think Skirmish Games

Dear Readers:

I don’t want to overstep, or come off as a shill (I have no connection to Too Fat Lardies), but I have to tell you about these new WWII skirmish rules, Chain Of Command, from Too Fat Lardies.

These are the best skirmish rules I have ever read. They are revolutionary in the way that SAGA was when it came out. Like SAGA’s battleboards, the “blinds” phase, along with the dice activation and “Chain Of Command” dice will totally change the way you look at WWII gaming.

It’s a “platoon plus” game – you’ll have an infantry platoon plus support – maybe an additional squad, or off table artillery, or a tank, mortar, etc.

Before the game proper starts, there is a “blinds” phase. This is a short mini-game that establishes where each player can place their “jump off points”. The jump off points are where you can deploy your troops. So – you start the game proper with no troops on the table, and you deploy them at your jump off points when you wish.

This solves the “all my troops are known and within 12 inches of my table edge” boring deployment issue. Your opponent doesn’t know exactly what you have until you deploy it on the table. By deploying from a jump off point, you start a lot closer to the enemy than the table edge. Jump off points also enable ambushes and resupply, and are vulnerable to being overrun by the enemy.

This blinds mechanic, all by itself, is revolutionary. All modern games should use this.

Next is the dice activation. You roll several D6 (usually 5) and the result tells you what you can activate – a team, a squad, a leader (who can activate his squad, or give other commands) etc. A roll of 5 on a die also increments your Chain Of Command die. When this gets to 6, you can take special actions that have a greater impact on the battle.

Chain Of Command from Too Fat Lardies. My 15mm Germans are about 1/3 done. You can use your Flames Of War figures as based, or your 28mm Bolt Action figures (but I’m a big 15mm fan, so…)

4_stands_done_7_to_go

Too Fat Lardies made a series of videos explaining the game.  They are excellent, and I love their terrain!

Getting Started in WWII Gaming

A while back, I got the Flames Of War Open Fire! box set as a gift.  There’s 100+ 15mm miniatures in there, as well as the FoW rulebook, painting guides, and more.

Since then, Too Fat Lardies released their excellent WWII skirmish rules, Chain Of Command. Reading those rules, and reading the FoW rules, I quickly decided I’d rather play Chain Of Command.

That doesn’t mean the Open Fire! box set is useless.  Far from it.  The miniatures in that box are of excellent quality, and there are a lot of them.  Chain Of Command is intended for 28mm, but the rules state it can be played in 15mm with no adjustments.  I already play Sci-Fi in 15mm, so I have lots of terrain that can do double duty.  Using the FoW minis to play Chain Of Command in 15mm is a no brainer for me.

So, tonight I assembled a German platoon, as specified by the CoC army lists, from my FoW minis:

Chain_of_command_german_platoon_rawThat’s the platoon command group in the front – a leader with a 2 man panzershreck team.  Then 3 squads, each with a leader and panzerfaust, a MG42 machine gun with 2 crew and a rifleman, and six rifleman.

That’s 39 minis.  This is the core of your force in CoC.

Here’s a size comparison between the the FoW minis and some 15mm Sci-Fi minis from Rebel Minis I have in progress:

Size_comparison_FoW_Rebel_minis_sci_fi39 minis.  I’ve got a lot of painting to do. :)

 

 

Gripping Beast Anglo-Dane Hearthguard

I’m almost done with my 6 point SAGA warband.  Here’s some dane axes from Gripping Beast, which I got from their US reseller, Architects Of War:

Gripping_beast_anlgo_dane_hearthguard_bare Gripping_beast_anlgo_dane_hearthguard_paintedI primed them with The Army Painter’s Leather Brown spray primer.  I’ve become a huge fan of their color spray primers and the matching brush paint.  It saves so much time to not have to paint the various straps, pouches – AKA the fiddly bits.

I’ve found a local group that plays SAGA once a month.  I’ve played one session with them, and they are a good group of guys.  I’m looking forward to next month.

All I have left in my warband is to base my levy.  They are all painted, only basing is left.

Rules and more Rules

So many rules, so little time.booksFrom top to bottom:

  • SAGA – The base rules plus all the expansions in the folder that came with expansion #4. I play this a lot recently.  I have a six point Anglo-Dane warband.
  • Dreadball Season 2
  • Dreadball  - Base rules.  I love Dreadball.  I play the base game only so far.  I have a season 2 team, unpainted.  It will get painted soon.  Dreadball is a ton of fun.
  • Monster Hunter International - The RPG based on the novels.  I GM a campaign.  Lots of fun.  Humans with guns fight monsters – werewolves, zombies, etc…
  • Star Wars Edge Of Empire -  RPG. I do not currently play.  It seems like a fun game.  Unique dice mechanic.
  • Eclipse Phase –  RPG. I am a player in a campaign.  Great game, and the most high quality rulebook here.  Very unique sci-fi setting. The printed book is well worth it’s price, however, the rules are also available for free.  Creative Commons rules!
  • Chain Of Command – Just released (Fall 2013) WWII platoon level rules from Too Fat Lardies.  I’ve not played them yet, but they seem really nice.
  • Gruntz - 15mm Sci-Fi rules.  A great introductory set of rules, and you can add complexity later.  I’ve played them a few times.  Fun.
  • Tomorrows War – Another 15mm Sci-Fi ruleset.  Well reviewed, but overly complex and, frankly, the book is hard to read.  Black text on a busy background.
  • Traveller - I have so many great memories of playing Traveller as a kid in the ’80s.  Sci-Fi RPG.
  • Traveller 5  - Not the “final” Traveller I’d hoped for.  Overly complex.

So, that’s my physical rules collection.  In digital, I’ve got a bunch more, but the only digital rules that are not also here in physical form that I play / want to play are:

  • Quadrant 13 – Company level 15mm Sci-Fi rules.  Seems like a great game.  I’d love to play some day.
  • Full Thrust: Cross Dimensions – Super fun space fleet combat game.  I’ve got two full fleets of minis painted up for this game.  Quick, deadly, tactical space combat.  Free rules, too.