Monday, April 16, 2018

Three Phases of Occupation?

Well more like two really.

We (the Cold War Commanders) are putting on three games at Joy of Six this July.  The games will be set in the same location on three different dates (in 1959, 1973 and 1989) and will all involve a Soviet motor Rifle Regiment attacking a British battalion battlegroup.  This means that we need triplicate terrain items.

Here's my first go at producing one location in three periods:

Not terribly clear but the houses have been repainted in the pic below.

I'm working on the principle that property boundaries tent to be preserved over time.  In this case the two semi-detached houses shared a plot of land that subsequently became a small car park.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Crisis Point 2018

This past weekend saw a company of stout yeoman gamers descend on Dungworth from all corners of the Kingdom to play in the annual Crisis Point gaming weekend.

We took possession of the school hall on Friday afternoon and it was a pleasure to welcome returnees Ian, Andy, and Richard P as well as new boy Mark J who had all come along to help with the set-up.

There were slightly fewer tables this year than on previous occasions.  We briefly considered raiding the old village hall for trestle tables but in the end we decided to make a virtue of necessity.  A smaller table would mean all forces getting into action earlier and give us a good chance of getting to a climactic battle on Sunday.

We managed to get the tables pretty well set up by a little before beer o'clock.  Sadly, however, I don't seem to have taken any successful shots of the whole table.

On Saturday morning the gang all turned up.  We had Rob and Russ returning for the first time in several years, Tom and local lad Gabriel with us for the first time, and regulars Arthur, Leo, Kevin, and Jamie back again from last year.

Tom definitely got into the spirit of the game -
his portrayal of Solomon Rubenstein, the Andreivian
Minister of War went far beyond silly hats.

Andreivian propaganda posters await the advancing Turks

Silly hats were de riguer for the defenders of Tcherbevan

The Black Sea was alive with ships

An Andreivian Mk V tanks advances across
friendly trenches to take on Johnny Turk

Whilst another passes the fort at the heart of the Dvimin Line

Meanwhile more Andreivian forces defend the rear against
Russ's advancing Bolsheviks
The Turkish Navy stands ready to lend a hand

The northeast corner of the table with the walled city
of Kedelkalak in the background - loverly work
by the Wet-Nurse of Andreivia, Richard Phillips.

The Andreivian Air Force takes to the sky!
White Russian Cossacks charge the rear of the Andreivian National Police
unit guarding the English Church in Tchervbevan. The capture and
subsequent slaughter of the policemen is set to become an Anti-Russian
rallying point for the Andreivians.  Remember the English Church!
The factory was the site of fierce fighting on Sunday

Everyone converged on the city
So who won in the end?  You know what?  I don't really care; it was a great weekend and we got some enjoyable gaming and good socialising under our belts.

Thank you all who attended.  I'm already making plans for next year!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Joy of Six Map

This is my attempt at mapping the terrain over which our game at Joy of Six may be played this year:

It's posted here so I can get it displayed on the CWC Forum.

Monday, April 9, 2018

New York, New York

I'm not long back from a few days in Gotham with my mother and daughter.  I didn't get to do much in the way of gaming related activity but I did manage a few minutes here....

I remember seeing The Compleat Strategist mentioned as a vendor of gaming material in a number of products I owned in the 1980s - probably Runequest and perhaps some FGU products.  My copy of the Sixth Fleet rule book is on my desk and I note that they were based only a block or so away.  It's good to know there's still a game shop going from that era and amazing that they can survive given NYC rents.

I didn't buy anything as I only had a few minutes browsing time before the shop closed for the evening.  Prices seemed to be roughly comparable with what I see in the UK.  $14.75 for small X-Wing ships for example.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Not Long to Go Now!

Just a couple of weeks until Crisis Point 2018.

Get your tape-measures greased and be sure your dice are rolling high.  The fate of Andreivia is in your hands!

Monday, March 19, 2018

A bit of a catch-up

I've been most remiss about posting here for the last few weeks. I just haven't felt that motivated to do so despite getting loads of painting done.

I'm within three figures of completing a second (Italian allied) legion for my To The Strongest Republican Romans.  I'd like to get them all done before I show pictures here.

Ive also nearly finished a second pack of Turkish infantry for Crisis Point. Again, pics when done.

So what can I show you?  Well, I have managed to create some more zero-cost plot points for Pulp Alley.

First up is this fire marker...

The base is a 0.02 Euro coin 'glooped' with tile grout.  the flames are made from Green Stuff. Whenever I have some left over I use it to make these wiggly shapes and when I have enough it goes onto a base like this.

Then we have a... well... one of these...

It's a mysterious alien artifact poking out of the desert sands, I guess. This is literally a found item; some bit of child's toy that I found lying in the street. Painted and given a couple of coats of progressively lighter dry-brushing (which don't show at all in the photo). As usual stuck to a coin with texture applied - in this case a two pence coin.

And finally, a cactus for the Mexican desert...

Obviously a coin and some basing gloop are involved but there's an Order of Andreivian Artists (Second Class) to anyone who can identify the freebie source of the cactus itself.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

First Mexicans

I've painted the first two new figures for my Maximillian Adventure forces for Sharp Practice:

The chap on the left is a Republican guerrilla leader.  He's represented by a Foundry Wild West bandit who's been sitting un my unpainted figures box for years.

The other figure is the first of my Imperialist contra-guerrillas. He's built from the Perry plastic zouaves box.  I've carved down the baggy zouave breeches at the top of the legs and built up them up as trousers at the lower end.  At least another seven of those to do before I have a unit!

I said "new" figures because I already had a few Mexican figures I'd bought with a view to using in my Pulp Alley campaign.  I reckon they'll do fine as Republican guerrillas:

Saturday, March 3, 2018


Postie has battled through the snow to deliver my latest purchase; a box of Perry Miniatures plastic Zouaves.

Before you ask, no I haven't suddenly discovered an interest in the American Civil War (it's still a period that's never floated my boat).  Instead I'm planning on using them to play Sharp Practice set in Mexico during the Maximillian Adventure.

I've not yet decided how to use them.  They may be French Zouaves:

Or I might use them, with a little conversion, as contra-guerrilla infantry as per the chap on the right here:

Given the baggy trousers on the Perry models, the French zouave route looks easier.

Then again, given that there are 40 rank and file (plus an officer and a drummer) in the box, I could probably do both!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Freebie Pulp Terrain

Inspired by Dave Phipps's Pulp Alley videos over on Youtube I've had a go at making some vaguely Pulp-y plot points and terrain pieces recently.  For one reason or another they've cost me nothing...

At Gauntlet last year I picked up a bag of bits of white metal on the bring-and-buy.  "Oh you can have them" said the owner.  They proved to include a number of vaguely useful bits.

First up is this recently dug grave:

Just the thing for many a Buffy the Vampire Slayer scenario!

Next in the bag of disregarded white metal was this:

Not sure when I'm going to need a dark-ages-head-impaled-on-a-stick-with-an-arrow-through-its-eye but you never know....

And then we have this generic fantasy shield.  It just cried out to be painted as an ancient relic, always good as a plot point...

The verdigris-bronze finish on the shield also came in handy for a Salute give-away figure from Warlord Games.  I've never been to Salute but my mate Simon Miller has and very kind me sent this one last Christmas:

I see this as absolutely ideal for use in some Andreivian town square one day soon.

Finally we have this piece of vaguely pulp-ish industrial machinery:

Made from assorted pieces of plastic pulled out of the "bits box", it took about five minutes to stick together using my hot glue gun and about as long again to paint in a gunmetal colour.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

A Village in Andreivia

Tom D came over on Saturday and I ran a small Arc of Fire scenario to introduce him to the rules in preparation for the Crisis Point game in April.

The scenario was a simple one.  It's 1918 and a small Turkish force (four-man HQ, 15-man rifle section, LMG team, and five-man "bomber" team) have to capture an Andreivian village.  The village is held by a small Andreivian army team and, unbeknown to the Turks, a temporarily immobilised Renault FT light tank.

The above pic shows the table from the southern (Turkish) edge. A brick-built warehouse dominates this side of the village but it has only two windows on the south side so it's not readily defensible.  Tom elected to advance to the right of the road, across the recently harvested wheat field and either side of the small copse of trees.

Pretty soon the Turks came under ineffective rifle fire from the back of the warehouse.  The Turks returned fire and were sure they'd achieved some solid hits.  In fact the first fusillade wounded the Andreivian forces commander, effectively ending his involvement in the fight.  The second round of firing from the Turks killed his second in command outright and the Andreivian HQ unit ceased to exist as a fighting unit!

As the Turks closed in on the village I knew that I'd have to move the only remaining Andreivian infantry unit (a six-man rifle section) from the graveyard to the central square if I was to buy time for the tank driver to repair the engine.

The tank driver was reasonably lucky with his TAC rolls.  As the Turks approached the village square they heard an internal combustion engine splutter into life (I was going to say roar into life but come on guys, this is only a Renault FT) and heard the grinding of caterpillar tracks.

The FT managed to get off a shot from its 37mm Puteau cannon.  37mm HE is not very powerful and the commander (the FT has a two-man crew) was firing while the tank was moving.  Even with a densely packed infantry target the shot was ineffective.  It would prove to be the tank's only shot of the game!

As the tank commander tried desperately to reload, a firefight developed across the village square.  The Andreivian infantry scrambled to take what cover they could but they were severely out-numbered and once the Turkish LMG came around onto their flank, their days were numbered.

It came down to race to see if the Andreivian tank could extricate itself from this unsuitable tactical situation before the Turkish bomber team could get close enough to use their grenades against it.

In the end a single Turkish bomber launched two heroic close assaults on the tank but he was unable to prevent it wheezing and clanking its was off along the northern road towards safety.

So that was Tom's first AoF game. The Turks had seized the village to a win for them.  The Andreivians had also met their aim of extracting the tank to safety but the loss of both commander and sergeant in the first few moments of the action took the shine off this achievement.

A fun game. We got done in a leisurely couple of hours and AoF again showed that new players can pick it up within a very short time.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Graveyard on Denley Moor

Jamie came over at the weekend (it was my birthday) and as well as going out for a meal we managed to get in a game of Pulp Alley on Saturday evening.

It’s been a while since we played an episode in my very slow PA campaign “The Quest for Faulkner’s Balls”. Over a year in fact! I knocked up a simple game using my new graveyard terrain module and the standard “Trail of Clues” scenario from the rule book.

Jamie played the Friends of the Reverend Featherstonehaugh and I looked after those vicious London criminals The Muswell Hill mob.

I wanted to have a go at using the vehicle rules from Gadgets, Guns and Vehicles. I gave the Rev’s Friends a Rolls Royce.  There was also a chap from the GPO working on the telegraph line that runs over the moor.  His van was a possible source of vehicular mayhem.

The main objective was to gain control of Captain Faulkner, the shell-shocked veteran of the trenches now often found wandering the moors with his dog Sergeant.

We each placed one minor Plot Point at the start of the game. Jamie placed a large earthenware pot beside the road and I put a wooden crate at the corner of the old graveyard.

Notter of the Muswell Hill Mob reached the crate and managed quickly to prize it open. Looking up from the contents he saw a Raven perched on the graveyard wall. “C’Mon Sergeant” it squawked!  (That was the next Plot Point that I placed).

Miller and Notter interrogate the raven
In the meantime the earthenware pot was proving harder to understand (I played a Peril) on Jamie’s character. As a result it took him longer to go for his second Plot Point (a hand drawn map).

A gun battle then developed between Notter on the Mob's side and The Count and PC Newthwaite on the other.

Miller, meanwhile, managed to get over the graveyard wall and persuade Faulkner of the wisdom of accompanying a man with a strategically placed automatic pistol.

One of Jamie's reward cards allowed him to extend the game to seven turns but it wasn't enough to prevent the Muswell Hill Mob making off with Faulkner and, presumably, his ancestor's mysterious journal too!

Look out for the next episode of the Quest for Faulkner's Balls - coming to a theatre near you soon! Well, eventually anyway.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Monumental Masonry

Inspired by some of terrain items I've seen decorating the tables in Dave Phipps's excellent Pulp Alley videos on Facebook, I decided to have a go at some of the bits and bobs I've had hanging around for a while.

The Renedra plastic gravestones, an old table-mat and some foamcore gave me this graveyard.

The surrounding wall is covered with brick-paper and topped with card coping stones.  The ground-cover is my usual painted-and-drybrushed tile grout covered with a new, home blended mix of fine flock and static grass.

I think the scale works well with 28mm figures...

... and looks OK with 1/72nd miniatures so this piece will probably appear in Andreivia this April.

Also newly off the painting desk is this statue.

Called die Trauernde or the Weeping One, it's from German manufacturer Zitterdes and came from Wargames Emporium.  It'll one day take its place in my planned Pavis setup for Song of Blades and Heroes.

And finally we have the couple of gargoyles I bought at the Edinburgh show in the summer.

These too are destined for Pavis.  They'll just be inanimate statues, won't they?