Sunday, 25 August 2019

Building a battlefield

Following my Chatterton’s Hill game at Partizan I’ve been asked to show how I build the rolling terrain of the AWI under my terrain cloths. Here is a step-by-step of a table I have just put together in my garage. 

Here is my bare table. 8x4 feet composed of three IKEA tables bought many years ago. 

 Here is the scenario map for Spencer’ Ordinary from British Grenadier scenario book #2. 

To make the “lumps and bumps” I use pieces of wood and coir doormats (whole mats and chopped-up pieces). Try to build up several layers for each hill. 

These are then covered with hanging-basket liner bought online from gardening suppliers. 

I then place a few commercial wargame hills to round off some of the crests. These could go under the liner, it makes little difference but the hills pick up less fluff this way. 

The whole thing is then covered with a couple of cloths. These are felt, but use any sort of blanket. Heavier tends to be better. 

The final cloth layer is my sprayed fleece fabric. Spend a bit of time pushing the cloth layers down between the hills rather than being pulled taught between them. 

Another angle:

Next I add roads, streams, fields and buildings. Then comes fences. I’m only approximating the map here. To be closer would need me to extend the table to 8x6. I use duct tape to join the road sections together. 

Now I add trees, patches of long grass and rocks to break up the plain areas. Here are a few shots of the completed battlefield. I’ll now leave this overnight for the cloth to settle down. The photos still don’t fully show the effect of the hills but you should get an idea. 

Monday, 19 August 2019

Bloodybacks rules (version 7) on this blog's "pages" section

Anyone interested in my current "Bloodybacks" AWI rules can find a copy on the blog if you take a look at the "pages" section.

They still have gaps around terrain effects, but are relatively complete and I'm sure most readers can add in any detail that they want.

I've no plans to publish these in the short-term, as I don't have the time it would take to get them to the the necessary standards and support them. Publication might happen in the future, but for now enjoy them in their current state (and order yourself some d12s!)

Chatterton’s Hill at The Other Partizan 2019

Yesterday I staged a refight of Chatterton’s Hill (Oct 1776) at The Other Partizan show in Newark (UK).

There is a scenario for this battle in scenario book #1 for British Grenadier and I wrote one for the Rebellion supplement for Black Powder. Both are aimed at  a 6x4 table. For yesterday’s game I did some extra reading and tried to scale the scenery more towards the actual terrain as I understood it. 

The table I set up was 10’ long and between 5’ and 4’6” wide. I used terrain cloths over lots of boxes, bits of wood and coir doormats to create the steep sides of Wolf Pit Hill and Chatterton’s Hill, with the Bronx River running through the valley between them. The top of Chatterton’s Hill was left fairly flat to accommodate fields, walls and fences as per the limited contemporary accounts. 

Ground scale is around 1”=10 yards (horizontal and vertical)

Here are views from the North and South edges:

The farm was added for interest rather than accuracy and played no part in the action. 

The game played well using the current version of my Bloodybacks rules with an addition to limit artillery ammunition and prevent the guns dominating proceedings in an unhistorical way. 

The British artillery bombardment did have an attritional effect on the defenders and played its part but despite there being two whole batteries (6 model guns) it was still necessary for the infantry to assault the Hill and take significant casualties to a number of redcoat and hessian battalions.

The game followed history fairly closely, with the militia and continentals putting up a stiff resistance and the Crown eventually taking the ground. 

Some photos below:

Sunday, 19 May 2019

A couple of Partizan games

Just a few photos of games that caught my eye at the show. There were many games of really high quality, so this really is a very thin slice of what was on offer. 

Battle of Brooklyn:

Siege of Oosterbeck:

There were lots of people taking pictures so I expect the internet will soon be awash with Partizan goodness. 

Bloody Squad Leaders (2) at Partizan

We gave my rules a good try out at Partizan and they producede a fast and plausible game that we both enjoyed. We came up with ideas for a few minor tweaks to improve things and I’ll also add some more defined processes for off board mortars and light artillery. 

Here are some pictures of the game: 

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Game set up for Partizan

My game table is all set up and waiting for me. Hope to see lots of people at Partizan tomorrow.