David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occasional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Thursday 28 March 2013

Action Cards for New Paddock City

I am managing quite a few displacement activities here in GHQ as an antidote to painting the six armoured Samurai I was 'gifted' by Phil. Its not that I'm ungrateful for his kindness, nor is it the case that I don't want to paint them; its just that they are rather more complex than all the other figures I have completed for the game and I find it dispiritingly slow and complex, allied to which I'm making too many eyesight related errors! I will finish them: I have completed the first pair; have all the basic colours on the second pair of the six and have done the flesh areas on the third pair. But, I still find it hard to sit down at my desk and get on with them!
So, today's displacement activity was making a set of 'Action Cards' for our Western Gunfight games set in and around my new town of Battleflag MDF buildings ~ which have featured in several earlier posts as I'm confident you will have seen. We are using a home improved version of Astounding Tales at present, so I know I'll need to make reference sheets too for the main characters to ease play along in future...
I was inspired to make these by the response to my efforts on the set for Funsen, as well as by a set shown of the LAF Forum Boards for the Rules with No Name. Again I trawled the net for suitable period photographs to use on the text side, mainly to enhance the look of the game as the cards are turned over. The most difficult images to find were for the gravedigger, OT ~ a long story there ~ and for the armed Preacher. In the end I opted for a C19th English picture for the former and of a reenactor for the latter, but otherwise they are all C19th photos from the Old West. For the face of the cards I found a rather nice image of a shoot out, very apt for our games, and a free font called El Dorado! They are nothing special in the end, but they will help the game look better and move along smoothly. As Phil says, "They will do!"
Now, will I get on with those Samurai next, or shall I finish grassing and tufting the rebased War of 1812 collection? No contest really...

Monday 25 March 2013

Action Cards for Funsen

As we've started to play games now using Funsen, my 'rules in development' for Samurai skirmish games set in the 'Age of Wars', I thought that I ought to graduate from the hand written cards which I've been using in development to something looking a little more professional at least. This is the result of my initial endeavours ~


All the images I've used were found on the web using searches for traditional Japanese art. Of course they probably can't be used commercially due to copyright issues, but they are fine for home use here in GHQ. They were printed using a colour laser printer and then laminated in small playing card pockets, just as I made the cards for our Pulp and F&IW games. My wife cut them all out to size for me, using one of her super duper craft tools which I'm bared from using! The main character on each side has three cards, while the Ninjas and lesser Samurai have two and the remaining game elements have one. I've made a number of generic cards to allow for events together with two end of turn cards unoriginally labelled 'The Tea Ceremony'. Some of them will no doubt be reworked or replaced, but I like the general look of the thing as we say here. I've also made a simple Campaign Map grid to allow games to be played in a context allowing an ongoing heroic, or otherwise, tale to unfold for your main character.

Sunday 24 March 2013

My bags are packed...

...I'm ready to go, etc ~ at least those of a certain age will get my drift there. I'm a little 'off' painting figures at the moment. I've only managed thirteen so far this month, which is my most miserable total baring months when I've been out of the country. Instead I've been painting walls, buildings and other extras for my Samurai skirmish game project. I'm neither keen nor very good at this aspect of the hobby, being easily bored by it, but I've stuck at it with surprising inner steel. It must have come with age?
With all the buildings and stuff finished {see earlier posts for pictures} I am struggling on with six Perry armoured Samurai Phil 'so kindly' gave me! I have two finished and two more on the way, but I find them really difficult subjects to paint in truth. [As an aside at this point, we've even managed a first run through of my new rules, Funsen, which we thoroughly enjoyed.] So, pretty much any painting distraction will get my attention now I've found!
Hence the baggage, luggage, crates and carboy in the photo! I bought a fair selection of Ainsty detritus for my Pulp/ Holmes/ Rhanlistan Field Force/ Africa/ Old West projects at Alumwell/WMMS earlier in March. I also got two sets of 6milphil's wonderful baggage which he was selling via the LAF forum board. The luggage is in the foreground of the picture, all the other stuff - dockside, crates, etc is by Ainsty. There are thirteen pieces in the luggage set, so I tried to paint them in groups using different colour schemes and finishes, including old GW ink washes. The solitary black trunk is in homage to the one I took away to College in 1968, and is still in our loft today! The set is very versatile, in single piece castings, so you can paint and group it to taste. Anyway that's my effort, you'll see others far better I would think in due course. Now, back to those bl**dy Samurai...

Wednesday 20 March 2013

More from Japan, Zululand and the NHS

A few more pictures of the 'Japan in the Age of Wars' project, before our first skirmish tomorrow when Ono Onomoro will face his enemy, Shiro Komadorisai in mortal combat ~
The expanded home of our game's Hero.
Our Hero receives news of the enemy's approach.
The object of the attack perhaps?
Onomoro's Samurai guards practice their skills for battle.
Meanwhile, back in Zululand...
General Marshall and his Aide.
General Marshall.
His Aide.
NHS news now. I've recently had my six month knee review with my consultant. All very prompt and efficient I'm pleased to report. I am an A1 knee patient and making an above average recovery, so I'm chuffed. I walked two miles without my cane to celebrate! A knee replacement looks like this if you've never seen one~

Back to wargame related matter next...



Sunday 17 March 2013

Japan in the Age of Wars

An update on my progress in my self styled "Year of Being Japanese" seems in order, as I have finished painting all the figures I bought for the skirmish game set in the 'Age of Wars' and all of the buildings I bought last year for the project. To recap: the buildings are by John Jenkins Designs, with extras and outdoor facilities from Oshiro and the Tori arch from Grand Manner; while the figures are from Museum Miniatures and Perry Miniatures.



I bought a few movement trays for this project, as well as for the Muskets and Tomahawks game, but typically I misjudged how many I'd need for each game, hence the mixed colours you might notice. These trays need to be grassed and tufted, which I hope to do later in the month when I've finished something else I have on the go.

I grouped some of the figures as game objective markers and other as folk going about their daily lives. The Museum Miniatures range is not extensive but it includes suitable figures, as does the Perry Miniatures range.

In addition to the walled Samurai house, I've got a small set of farm buildings seen here, and a temple which you can see in the background.

The large drum and musician is from the Museum Miniatres' range, but the priests and Ninjas are from Perry Miniatures.

For ease of play the two sides are colour coded red and blue. Not very original I know, but it does for us! I hope that Warbases will make me some more movement trays to accommodate the command elements in the game!

They'll need to have one 'pill base' slot and three 25mm round base slots as you can see.

Which will also do for the supply train.

Ono Onomoro, our hero, leads his force into action. Or at least he will on Thursday!
I've really enjoyed painting the figures and buildings, even though I had to allow myself a sanity restoring interval from time to time when I painted other figures and assembled other buildings for the Old West project. Next up will be my Japanese and British forces for Bolt Action WWII in Burma game. But not yet...

Saturday 16 March 2013

A Mixed Bag

One thing is certain about wargaming, it gets you out and about the world, even if only in miniature! In the past ten days we've been in up country Vietnam; the veld of South Africa; and the far west of the USA, and all without leaving the comfort of GHQ! A few pictures and accompanying thoughts on three very different games. First up, a return after a long absence to Vietnam, triggered by the new Bolt Action rules and an article in the latest WSS.
A typical table for our ventures in Vietnam, with an army base in the foreground and a village in the middle distance. But, 'Where is Charlie?'

Well, clearly not in the village.

In fact, making a surprise assault on the base's perimeter. All in vain though in the end, a the Free World Forces drove of the attacks.

While the patrol swept the village clear of more VC, although Medivac was busy...

Then off to the veld of South Africa, where a Boer Trek was the subject of unwelcome attentions from the local Zulu chief, Bykelezi M'Tubi. A Boer scout reports in...

Though by then the Boer column seems to have got the picture for themselves.

The odds looked bad for the Boers, but again they made it of the table leaving little plunder and many dead Zulus, again.

Back in the Old West, the good guys always wore a white hat in the Saturday Matinee!

The bad guys always seemed to lurk in dark corners...

Or down dark alleys where heroes walked tall.

Or fired from windows as the hero passed by.

But somehow, they always ended up dead...

The truth is I lost the Vietnam game to Jon; the AZW games to Jon and Phil on successive days; and managed to cling on in the Old West against Phil for a draw ~ four deputies and four of the Dusst gang gunned down, Jed Dusst escaping, though having two wounds, with one surviving gang member; Sheriff Twerp with four wounds being helped to safety by old Stumpy and one other deputy! All great fun though with great company and cake! Not much rates better than that I find in my hobby.

Tuesday 12 March 2013

There's no place like home...

...at least for Ono Onomoro! I've been working for the last few days on the Japanese buildings, walls and extras I bought last year for my Samurai skirmish project. Here are a few pictures hastily assembled to show my progress to date. The buildings and walls are from John Jenkins Designs, while the outdoor 'facility' and the lanterns are by Oshiro. The figures are by Museum Miniatures and Perry Miniatures.
I'm working at the moment on the JJD large Samurai house, which is quite complex to paint I'm finding, and also a Tori arch which I got from Grand Manner. The buildings currently inside the walled enclosure will be used to represent a small farm, with the large house taking their place in the enclosure. I also have the JJD Temple to paint, which can be free standing or placed within the enclosure {I've two more wall sections to finish to accommodate the Temple.}
My choice of JJD buildings over Oshiro's was made only on cost, having rejected the Hovels buildings as not quite what I wanted for the project. The removable roof sections of the JJD buildings seemed most suitable too for a skirmish game.



Sunday 10 March 2013

WMMS 2013

Phil and I have been to WMMS, the local show of the Alumwell Wargames Society today. The show is in its 37th year, which makes me feel very old, as Phil and I were the organisers of the very first one, in what seems more than half a lifetime ago!
Although I have n't been a member of the club for many years now, I still feel an affection for the show and always look forward to it coming around every year. Its especially good now, as its only about a mile from my front door, so there are no early starts or long journeys ~ which my old bones and new knee are equally grateful for!!!!!
We only stayed until 1.00, as Phil had to go into work this afternoon, and frankly three hours is about all I can manage at one time before I tire. Sad, but true... So, without more ado some pictures from today's show ~
The hall at about 12.00, from the walkway to the bar...

A SCW game adjacent to the Empress Miniatures stand and featuring, amongst others, some of their buildings and figures. I think the monastery in the far distance is by Grand Manner.

Dave Page's group from Kinver ~ a 20mm WWII Eastern Front game.

WWII game demoing Battlegroup Overlord I think.

A game set in the Middle East. I liked the town very much.

A Napoleonic Sharp Practice skirmish.

A large ACW game.
One of several AWI/F&IW type games.
And another...
And another.
I hope the various groups and individuals will not take it askance that I can't say which group is responsible for which game, but encumbered by shopping, a walking stick and a camera phone, and in a limited time, its just not practical to stop and talk to everyone. I enjoyed the show immensely! All the games on display were worthy of spending time at ~ time I just did n't have today! I hope the pictures give a flavour of the day and perhaps might persuade a few folk to make the trip to WMMS 2014!

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Byk Li's Chop House...

...opens in New Paddock City. A Battleflag MDF kit with Frontline resin furniture and a home made name board, Figures from Pulp Miniatures.

There is a long story behind this building, but I won't bore you with the details right now. I bought it at Vapnartak, where the traders selling the Battleflag buildings had it labelled as the Newspaper Office. When I needed a missing part I discovered from Richard that it was meant to be a sample of a kit not yet released! Confusing!
As it is, New Paddock City already has a Newspaper Office, so I decided to kit it out as a Chop House ~ an excuse to use some lovely Pulp Miniatures Chinese too! I've ordered some tables and chairs from Dixon Miniatures, together with a set of his railway passengers to do duty as eager customers.
I really enjoy making up and kitting out these Battleflag buildings, so much so that I've now run out of room to store any more at present ~ a trip to WHSmith's for more boxes seems on the cards soon.