Wednesday, 9 November 2011

As If We Weren't Mad Enough Already...

...we've decided to take on a rather ambitious project.

You may remember earlier in the year I mentioned that Stafford Games ran a Stalingrad FOW demo game at the Alumwell/WMMS show in March. Even earlier than that, I posted about the Firestorm Armada demo game we ran at the Wargamer show in Great Barr. Well, after 7 months of demo game silence, we've decided to do it again and mark the anniversary of our inaugural display game performance by taking another display game to Wargamer 2011.

There are a few things that make this more ambitious than our previous attempts though. Firstly, we've decided to run a Thirty Years' War game, which requires a boatload of figures and a boatload of terrain. Secondly, Wargamer is only five weeks away (11th December). Thirdly, there are only two of us...

Fortunately, the figures are already pretty well catered for by my partner-in-crime, Gary (whose figures can be seen in my post on the opening of the Midlands Wargames Centre). So that just leaves the terrain!

The Scenario

We'll be adapting the Nine Years' War battle of Steenkerque, 1692, by backdating it fifty or so years and Germanising the name to "Steinkirche". Instead of French and Anglo-Dutch, the forces will naturally be the TYW protagonists of Swedes and 'Imperials'. One or the other armies (we haven't decided which, yet) is encamped and besieging the nearby town, unaware that the opposing army has the element of surprise and is marching upon them in a dawn attack on the encampment.

The Plan™

We're building a 8'x6' table, made up of 2'x2' modular tiles and two 4'x2' sections for the major features (the river, and the encampment). Each board is 50mm polystyrene mounted on 6mm MDF, and taped around the edges for a pretty sturdy set of tiles.

Here's the table all marked out as of last Friday. As you can see, Gary had already failed his Impetuosity test and had carved out the river before I'd even got there. Friday came and went in a blur of not-much-progress (at least until I'd left - coincidence?). We also didn't entirely stick to the plan, but the old adage about no plan surviving contact holds true. Anyway, we decided to reconvene on Sunday and continue.

The state of the boards (well, some of them) at 10am Sunday morning. Gary had been busy adding all of the hills from 25mm polystyrene during Friday afternoon and Saturday, and the boards were beginning to at least resemble the plan. Sunday then was spent filling the roads and rivers, and texturing the boards. 

The river and camp boards with roads and river "filled" using
brown powder paint mixed with white filler. 

Texturing was done using railway ballast (medium), sand and sawdust
So that's how we stood at the close of play on Sunday. The equivalent of five 2'x2' sections (three 2'x2' and a 4'x2') textured, ready for painting. That leaves seven more to do (six 2'x2' and the other 4'x2'), some of which are already started, some not at all. The major logistical problems we're faced with at the moment are storage and time; the only days we can both get together and spend the whole day working on the boards are Sundays, unless we can squeeze in a few hours here and there around our respective work schedules. In addition to the terrain boards, we have several woods, a couple of redoubts, "camp" sections (i.e tents), a back-scene to enclose the river board, and a couple more regiments to bulk out the armies all still left to do. Luckily, these are all things that can be done separately and in the hours we can squeeze in whenever we have time. 

Despite all these obstacles and the amount of work to do, we're both optimistic and enthusiastic! I will happily state that even with this amount of work done (representing a very small portion of the whole, as it does) the project has really got my hobby juices flowing. This is easily the biggest modelling project I've ever done, and I think the bug might have got me...

On a related note, Gary is also (sporadically) going to chart our progress over on his own fledgling blog G's Spot. Well worth a visit (despite the garish combination of pink and sickly green, and the obvious Slaaneshi-Nurglite overtones that could only be the mark of a confirmed heretic!)

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