The current (Sep'19) issue of Wargames Illustrated (#383) has some very good coverage last July's Historicon, including a full page spread on my game. Hence the overall self-congratulatory post.Thanks fro the very nice coverage - Dave Taylor is a superb photographer and his skills make even the schlock I put on look good.
American Armoured Foundation Tank Museum located in Danville, VA. Besides an amazing display of over 100 armored vehicles, they also feature an elaborate, miniature indoor battlefield for 1/16 scale Remote Control Tanks! Participants travel from many states to join the group event held several times a year.The tanks are fitted with an Infra Red battle system which, when the tank receives a hit, disables it from firing and moving for a number of seconds. Each tank has a finite number of lives before it is permanently disabled until the end of the game.
Running a large convention (aka participation) game can be a daunting task. However, if a dolt like me can do it, so can you. Over the years I have learned, and in some cases relearned, several lessons that I will now bore you with. You'd better go get a coffee as the caffeine jolt may be needed to get through this meandering discourse.First a word on scale - when I say big, I mean BIG - this year's game, To Catch a King, was played on a 6 foot by 19 foot table and had 2,417 figures in play. The game was designed for 8 players but I mostly played with 10.1) KNOW The Rules (and when you don't, fake it)Nothing detracts from a good game like a rules dispute. All of us have a hidden rules lawyer just waiting to get off the chain and it's your role as Game Master to ensure it doesn't happen. I put a lot of effort in knowing the rules but state clearly at the start of the game that I will make mistakes but my decisions are final. After running a few games, you'll also be able to
I was more than a little nervous with my game "To Catch A King" at Historicon this year for a number of reasons, one of which which was the scale - there are over 2,400 mini's on the table. The following photo's show the initial setup. I did tinker with it a little bit over the course of the con, but no material changes where made. The objective of the game was for the British to get the King's carriage across the map and onto a waiting ship. The French wanted to prevent that. In the end, the French won 4 out of 5 games but it was a lot closer than that tally appears. The French Left flank consisted of Soult's single division on the shore and Lannes corps of two divisions (in the center of the picture plus a reserve force of a Guard infantry and heavy calvary divisions under Napoleon. Soult's smaller division had a chance of maritime reinforcements over the course of the game.In the center was Davout and his III Corps of two divisions.Finally, on the French right
Yikes - Less than two days until HCON! Now it's it's just down to packing up and getting all the player aids doneThe first picture is the initial British order of battle 8 total divisions and associated support units.Initial? you ask - yes both sides may or may not have unexpected reinfoircements. Its really all up to the dice gods.....Ahh - the real glamour behind putting on a convention game. Laminating player aids! As we all know, only the finest games use laminated materials. I'm pretty much just a poser and hoping the lamination hides the rather poor aspects of my game design. Its worked in the past!These are the ship management card for my new Age of Sail ruleset. The working title is Bucentaure!We'll see if these ever see the light of day post HCONTime until Historicon:2 Days: 9 Hours: 8 minutesHOLY CRAP!
Because I don't have enough to do getting ready for Historicon, I decided to add to the list but building a "kinda" replica of Burnsides Bridge from the Battle of Antietam fame. I just knocked it together with some scrap EPS foam. The picture is just after the priming of a 50/50 mix of Black Paint and Matte Modge Podge. This really hardens the EPS foam. There are two reasons I decided to build a new bridge. The first is practical (if any miniature gaming need can be described as practical). I've got a simple wooden bridge that looks good for 28mm but just doesn't cut it for 15's - especially for a big event like Historicon. The second reason is more sentimental. My computer randomly puts pictures up as a screen saver and yesterday it went through a trip my son and I took to Antietam in 2005 - here's a picture of the real Burnside's Bridge from that trip.and a picture of Sean at age 10 from the same visit. I got a little teary eyed and decided I needed
The sloped Hill panel is done! Another tick off the to-do list for Historicon.A close up of some of the rock areasThe cliff face. That looks like a great spot to place an artillery battery - what do you think?A side glance. The slope isn't all that steep - 3 inches over 18 inches. That was done on purpose to reduce the chance of minis falling over. We'll see how that works in a few weeks.Countdown to Historicon:15 days, 8 hours, 13 minutes
The three village tiles and associated buildings from Total Battle Miniatures are just about done. These gems are from their 15mm "big battalions" range. All that's left to do is some clean up, detailed scenicing and then sealing. I really like how these came out. First up is the "the Hamlet" tile, which has 3 buildings on a flexible base.The barn is a little dark and shiny on the roof so I'll need to tone that down and hit it with matte spray.Next up is the 4 building "Village" tile. This tile had hedges along with walls cast in and was a lot of fun to paint up. The Village tile has three road connection points, whereas the Hamlet had just two. You get one guess on how many the next larger one has...All of the buildings are removable and fit into 1/16 inch deep sabots. The sabots and building fit one of two sizes so it's easy to mix and match.Lastly, the "town" tile, which is a booming metropolis consisting of 7 buildings and four road connections. This m
There is still one "unit" that needs to be painted up for "To Catch a King" - the objective marker. In this case, it's King George and his Royal coach. The miniatures are from Old Glory's Blue Moon line and are superb - here's a link. I'm looking forward to painting this up and will try to do a decent job - not my normal slap-dash efforts.As a reminder, the objective of the game is for the British to convey the King across the battlefield, onto a ship and then off the far end of the board. The table is shaping up to be 12 ft of land and 6 ft of water. Of course there will be some grumpy frenchman attempting to impede the progress of his royal highness.Just to cause headaches for the British player (which is always a fun thing to do), I'm figuring out some rules that have a bit of randomness in them. It needs to be simple like a die roll. Perhaps the following:D6:6 Lightening Fast - full movement of 18 inches and +1 on next turns movement roll4-5 Coach moves its full m
With the frames and base foam installation complete the next step is carving the foam to look less "wedding cakey" (yes, that is a real term) and apply the ground texture. Being pretty much an idiot, I forgot to take pictures of carving the foam but I just used a very sharp knife to smooth out the slopes and as you can see in the first pictures added some exposed rock face with some pink foam. Once that was down a layer of sculptamold was applied to fill in any big seems and smooth out any transitions.I do focus of figure stability so there are still layers but they're just not as a prevalent as some of my earlier hill attempts.Once the scultpamold has set, it's time to cover the whole thing with my "secret" terrain tool - pre-mixed tile grout (and pre-colored!).I do mix in a little PVA glue which really helps with hardness and makes the surface very durable. Application is dead simple - put on a pair of surgical gloves, grab a handful out of the can and plop it down. Now hears t
I really like the 2x2 terrain panels I built a few months ago but they do suffer form one issue - their umm flatish-ness. I wanted to add some height variations and decided to build some modular hill sections. The height of the hills will be four inches (3 inches from the top of the terrain as standard height of each panel is 1 inch). The first step in construction was to make the sloped panels, since I'm making three sections, I cut 3, 5 inch x 24 inch pieces of plywood and traced out the dimensions of the slope which is 4 inches flat in from each end and a diagonal line connecting the two points over the remaining linear 16 inches (4+4+16=24). The three panels were then taped together and I ran them through my band saw. And just like that I've now got 6 perfectly matched side panels. Well perfectly matched after bit of sanding as band saws are never really precise. At least the way I use them.....I then cut the rest of the side pieces out. Here's the full
The official countdown timer for Historicon now reads 42 days and 11 hours so It's time to "get it in gear". First on the task list is painting the village sets I picked up from Total Battle Miniatures. I've primed all the buildings with grey auto primer (my go-to primer) and laid out the flexible base for the "Hamlet".After about 90 minutes of work, I've gotten the Hamlet about 80% done and started another building. The manufacture suggests not priming the flexible bases and just painting them with acrylic paints, which what I've done. There is an amazing amount of detail in the building casts which just cry out to be painted.The buildings look a bit shiny now as the paint is wet and I haven't applied any washes or the matte sealer.I have three sets to paint:- A Hamlet which has three buildings (to the right) and is mostly painted- A Village which has four buildings (the buildings are on the left of the tray)- A Town which has 7 buildings (grouped on the right of the tray). The
Registration is now open for Historicon. I'm really looking forward to going this year. The event will be held in a brand new(and way better) venue. I'll also be putting on my games as part of the Little Wars TV contingenet. Maybe I'll even get a T-Shirt but lets not get our hopes up too high. Here's a link to a video from the club about the new venue - it's looks really great.As usual, I'm running a large game multiple times this year. The game format is a big change for me as it's in 15mm scale and will be unseeing a moderately complex ruleset (General D'Armee). As with most of my games, there will be boats involved, as boats make everything better don't they.Here's the description of the game from the PEL:T14:267 To Catch a King - Little Wars TVThursday, 2:00 PM, 4 hrs, Players: 8, Location: Commonwealth: CW-25GM: Miles Reidy & Little Wars TVSponsor: None, Prize: YesPeriod: Napoleonic, Scale: 15mm,&nbs
I'm a little late with the obligatory blog post on Salute, but here goes. Last Saturday (April 6th), I was able to attend my first Salute given a business trip happened to coincide with the with the event. I've always wanted to go to Salute and to be worried was a little apprehensive I'd be disappointed. Those concerns were entirely misplaced as I had a blast.In addition to my first Salute there is a second "first" with this event - I've made my first video for Little Wars TV by "reporting" on the show for the channel. Don't worry, you'll not have to suffer through any images of me but you will have to listen to my voice and odd sense of humor. Please be kind in the comments on the video - I might get banned from further correspondent work if you're really tough on me - that includes you, Ray. I'll add a link to the video when it gets posted. I've always heard about the awful line to get into to Salute and managed to arrive about 35 minutes early and found the queueing
Cold Wars was a lot of fun. I ran my "Sink the Tennessee" game 2x on Saturday as part of the Little Wars TV space and had a blast. I had great players - 8 for the first game and 9 for the second, almost all of whom have played in my past convention games. It really was a great group of people and a pleasure to GM for. Shockingly, the game was awarded two prizes, which was very nice. I'm pretty sure it was because of the quality of players and not the ham handed GM.The terrain panels worked really well. I was very pleased with the ease of transport and look at the con. I may have found my preferred solution for sectional terrain.I need to make more generic fields.Both games ended with desperate fighting on the dock with the first game going to the Union as the US Marines barely held off a desperate charge by the confederate militia. The crew from game one - we had players from all age groups and it worked exceptionally well. If only I had the energy of the young