Thursday, 20 October 2011

They think it's all over ...

It is now. I have finally recovered from taking Towton to Derby at the beginning of October. It was a great show and we had loads of positive feedback from people. We were also able to field 18000 figures on the day, which was rather nice. We fought the battle to a conclusion on both days. It looked rather dicey for the Yorkists on the Saturday but they returned to their comfortable wins on the Sunday. So, that is it for this year. We never did manage to get the 25000 figures that was our target onto the table. On that basis, we must account the project a failure! The problem lay in not getting enough support from some people, who dropped out. In the end we only had four people putting the game on and I think we did rather well to achieve 18000 figures without killing ourselves, our enthusiasm or each other.

The game has now been put away, although the figures are likely to see usage in Impetus and possibly Bloody Barons games. We have been asked to take the game to the Baccus Games Day next year. That is a long while away and has been pencilled in to the calendar but a lot could happen between now and then.

On with the eye candy. I did not get much chance for taking photos of the games due to spending all my time talking to people, but there are a few to show you what we did.

The two armies deployed for battle:

Steve checks the rules before the battle begins:

Graham and Steve battling it out as the Lancastrians advance at the double:

The big mistake on the Saturday was putting Steve in charge of the Yorkists! That led to all of their problems!! ;-)

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

A Rather Small Skirmish Project

For the Baccus gamesday we are also going to be bringing a change of scale. It'll still be in 6mm, but this time it's a skirmish game. Just as a teaser here's some pictures of the box as it progresses. There is a 6mm dismounted knight and a troll to give an idea of scale. The box is roughly 300mm x 300mm. With a sheet of steel in the top and bottom of the box, covered in sticky back sheets, one granite, the other green velor. The scenery and the figures will all be magentic. Meaning you can change terrain and hopefully terrain and figures won't go flying if knocked.
For the gamesday we'll be using the Broadsword Adventures rules and hopefully I should have 3 or 4 different scenarios which can be played.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Triples - Day 2

Day 2 of Triples is over and I am knackered. Still, we had a fantastic day with a lot of positive comments again. It was great to meet all the people that follow the blog and I hope those of you that are pimping 6mm for big battles at your clubs succeed. Now, we need to get our creative hats on and improve the game again for Derby in October. Before that though, there will be a Baccus Games Day on July 17th (the day after the Baccus open day). A smaller version of our Towton game will be there as a participation game for up to six players at a time. Although there will only be about 8000 figures on the table, you too could get a chance to make the critical decisions in this battle.

Many will be asking how the games went. Very well, says I, with my Yorkist hat on. We managed to play the game through to a conclusion on both days, and the Yorkists won on both days. The second day was harder fought and saw leaders fall on both sides. It also saw significant treachery on the part of Northumberland, who decided to change sides with the same alacrity that Steve showed, when I offered to let him take command of the Yorkists late in the day. Steve happily left Graham running the Lancastrians and sped around to join the Earl of March and his compatriots as they routed the enemy.

Anyway, enough rambling. Thank you for coming and seeing us and making our outing to Triples worthwhile. Here are some shots from today's game. My apologies for the quality of my photography.

The Lancastrians advance piecemeal. Their command and control was woefully lacking:

Views from the Yorkist lines:

Bloody Meadow - Lancastrian routers trying to escape as others are cut down:

The melee develops as Norfolk arrives and the Yorkists take advantage of holes in the Lancastrian lines. Fauconberg's command suffers badly from the Lancastrian ambush, but the rest of the Yorkist are busily routing Lancstrians and then turning on the flanks of their neighbours in the battle line before advancing towards the Cock Beck:

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Triples - Day 1

Blimey, I'm exhausted already and there is another day to go. I would just like to say thank you to all of you that dropped by and made positive comments about the game. We had a great day talking to everyone and even managed to complete a game.

About 10am: The troops are all deployed and ready to be moved

We decided not to move them for the first hour or so to give people a chance to see the armies deployed. That went on longer than expected because of the number of people looking and talking to us.

Sometime in the afternoon: The Lancastrians have started moving but two contingents are worried about the plan and awaiting reassurance. They would have changed sides if the enemy had contacted them.

So, as I wrote before, we completed one game, which was more than we expected and rather surprising given how busy we were. It probably helped that in the first melee of the game Steve managed to get Holland and Exeter killed. With the battle effectively headless and its commander's troops fleeing for their lives, Edward was able to turn on the flank of the rest of the battle. It would not be long now before the Lancastrians were fleeing for Bloody Meadow ...

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Steve meets a hero!

As you might have gathered from our jubilation, we received the Most Impressive Troops award at Salute. Here is a rather blurry photo of Steve looking stunned as he meets his hero, Rifleman Harris. Oh yes, and receiving the award, which is clear and therefore not readily visible in the photo.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Salute in Steve's Words

After what must be 18 months of work, it was good to get the actual game on the road. Although we had the two warm up games last year, Blore Heath at Triples and Northampton at Derby, the full game is on a totally different scale to either of these. So on Friday afternoon I set off towards the capital with the car packed to the gunwales. Even then I had to leave one of the terrain boards behind, so the game was only 16 feet long rather than 18.

After a restful night on the outskirts of London, I arrived at Excel in the morning and, after meeting up with Graham and Leigh at the stand, soon had the game set up. Although for a short while, we did have Fauconberg appearing on both sides of the battle, but with this being The War of the Roses, nobles did like to hedge their bets.

As with anything you’ve worked on there is always the worry of will anyone else like this. We needn’t have worried, the game definitely had the wow factor. The table seemed to permanently have people round it and comments being universally positive. There was the occasional questioning of our sanity, but there have been moments where we have as well. I was amazed at how many people have been following the blog and then came to see the game itself. I can’t think of any negative comments, even the ‘I couldn’t paint anything that small’ brigade seemed to be tongue in cheek. After seeing the game many people were seen heading towards the Baccus stand to check out the figures.

Overall Salute was a very enjoyable event. The game was very well received and, despite Peter’s doom-mongering, we won an award, The Most Impressive Troops.

With our enthusiasm rekindled we shall return at Triples bigger and better, just a few more stands to paint.

Finally! Towton at Salute.

Here are a few shots of our Towton game at Salute. Thanks to Steve, who took the photos and took most of the stuff down in his car because I could not attend. He, Graham and Leigh displayed the game most excellently by all accounts, and we are all thrilled to little fluffy bits to have won the trophy for Most Impressive Troops.

Because we were short-staffed, we chose to run a scripted demo rather than try to play the game. I sent Steve off with a script for the game and it looks like it worked well, ensuring that the action continued all day and that the situation changed as people returned to see what had happened next.

There were a couple of incidents of note though. One eagle-eyed observer spotted that Lord Fauconberg had troops on both sides of the battle. Classic Wars of the Roses strategy that. After all, he wanted to make sure he was on the winning side! We also got a couple of people asking where the other army was once the troops were all engaged in melee. Clearly we need more casualty markers to show the progress of the Lancastrian army. Alternatively, some arrows marking their route might be a good idea.

Thank you to everyone for their positive comments about the game. If you did not get to Salute, our next planned outing is Triples in Sheffield. Hopefully we shall see you there. Please click the photos for larger images.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Better photos of the set-up

I took some more photos today and these are the least worst of them. There are gaps in both lines because Steve took his figures home, but hopefully they begin to show the impression we hope to create.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

550 Today

There's no way that we could actually play out the battle in the time available to us on this day, so, as a commemmoration of the bloodiest battle on English soil, I set up part of the terrain and put some figures on it. This shot shows a single iteration of the order of battle deployed at the start of the battle (There should be twice as many figures on the table at Salute). The ambush in the far distance has been sprung far too early, while Norfolk has arrived at the beginning rather than lazing in bed until mid morning and then wandering up to help clean up the mess. The Yorkists are on the left of the shot and the Lancastrians on the right. Anyway, this is what 8500 figures on 288 stands looks like.

When we designed the terrain, we took into account the fact that we might not get the full order of battle put together for our earliest games, and that we might want to play a smaller version of the game. Therefore, we constructed the terrain boards so that we could remove some of them and they would still fit together properly. This meant taking some liberties with the contours, but needs must where the devil drives and all that.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Let it snow ...

Steve and I had a productive day yesterday (Saturday) working on the terrain. We covered the frames for the final two boards in plaster-soaked t-shirts, added green scatter material to the three boards that had only been painted and added snow to the first four boards that we had worked on. It looks like we might actually have a game to put on at Salute after all!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Towton before the snow

Big day tomorrow. We are planning to get the majority of the terrain finished or at least into an acceptable state for Salute. Here's part of the terrain looking towards the Cock Beck and where Castle Woods will be.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Countdown to Salute

No pictures today. Sorry. We are also too busy to blog regularly at the moment, because we are desperately trying to finish off the last of the figures and terrain so that the game will be displayed in full form at Salute. Eek! Why am I blogging when I should be painting?

Anyway, we hope to meet you all there or at Triples in May and we hope you enjoy our game.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

More Lancastrians join the fray

This month we have mostly been building terrain for the Towton refight. My target for painting was to add two more contingents to the Lancastrian army, which I have done after a fashion. I did not paint them all myself though. Peter at Baccus kindly lent me his Warmaster Ancients army on condition that I rebased it to the 60mm x 30mm standard bases that he favours. The army was on 40mm x 20mm bases before. So, rather than spending the whole month painting, I have spent a large part of it rebasing stuff. This has actually put me ahead of schedule as I now only need to paint ten more stands to have a complete single iteration of the Lancastrian order of battle, once Steve finishes the contingent he is painting for me. With this done we should be ready to rock at Salute. I shall then get the rest of the figures I was meant to paint myself done so that we can add some extra figures to the battle when we attend Derby in October.

The Yorkist army has also benefitted from Peter's kindness to the tune of one contingent, but I forgot to photograph them when I took these other shots. This leaves just twelve stands of troops remaining for the Yorkist army. Those are currently in the capable hands of my friend John, who has promised them soon.

In addition to these figures, I have included a teaser shot of the Towton terrain at the bottom of this post. As usual click the pics for a larger version.

Here we see the whole Lancastrian command that I am working on(empty bases show what remains to be painted):

This is what I have painted this month:

And here we have some of the figures that I rebased for Peter:

Proto-Towton terrain (everything you need to build Towton properly):

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

January Update

Here is what I painted in January instead of doing anything useful (like my thesis)!

Parts of Exeter's Command slog their way across Towton Dale towards the Yorkist lines. Baccus 6mm figures as usual with a sneak preview of part of the Towton terrain included. Flags are all by Freezywater and bases from East Riding Miniatures.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Starting the terrain

Last night, Steve and I began building the terrain for this project. At present it looks like a mess of EPS, newspaper and various odds and ends of rubbish that were lying around the house looking useful. If you are interested, the basic building materials are:

9mm MDF for the baseboards;
EPS for the frames and basic contours;
Any old offcuts of EPS and expanded polystyrene for building up the interior of each board;
Newspaper and various bits from my paper and cardboard recycling bins for building up the contours further;
Some of my older t-shirts that my wife thinks are past their best;
Plaster; and

This should give us terrain boards based on the contours on the OS map. We then just have to paint it and add flock to make it look like an English field on a cold day with a scattering of snow on it. The question remains whether we should attempt to simulate the snow by rigging up a snow dispenser over the table too!

There are no photos of beautiful finished terrain yet, but you can expect to see an 18' by 4' (that's 5.4m by 1.2m) table made of recycled rubbish at Salute, which will be our first outing. I plan to give Peter at Baccus a detailed terrain-building description with photos for his site when it is done and also to post some photos of the finished product here, but in the meantime I'm afraid that you will have to use your imaginations. Sorry.