Project status

A monthly round-up of project development.

The goals for 2017 are to round out the 12mm ACW armies and complete the hex based rules. To put together two 1066 armies in 12mm for a hex based Hastings game and to generally improve my battlefield terrain.

June 2017

General - A mid-month visit to a wargame show, followed by another (smaller) show a week later allowed me to dispose of much of my 28mm related stuff. That has significantly helped with the issue of storage space and equally important, removed an ongoing distraction to the projects listed here. Overall I think this will prove to have been an important month in terms of focus and direction. I am also trying a new primer for metal (see insert photo), which seems to stick to lead better than my regular acrylic primer.

Napoleonic 1809 - 15mm. I have just bought a 15mm French brigade pack (infantry, cavalry and artillery) as I am in two minds at which scale to pursue this (I also have 10mm). I will do an infantry regiment of each to assess look, basing and relationships with the 4" hex. I think the buildings I have could service either scale. 

WWII - Tigers at Minsk (15mm). - Due to a number of requests, I am adding an optional conversion rule for using 15mm scale on 4" hexes (the increased scale creates greater demands on hex space, especially for those hexes containing buildings and woods). So this month sees some new 15mm forces being collected, so that they can be painted up and existing scenarios tested, to see whether changes cause problems with any other part of the system. Pending.

Terrain - My hex terrain now includes a Kallistra two hex deep river system with a double span stone bridge and I have an additional 3 medieval period timber buildings with glorious red tiled roofing. Trees and other foliage items have also been improved.

May 2017

ACW hex rules - At last ... completed to the point that they can be shared via DropBox both here and on the blog.

TravelBattle by Perry Miniatures - All the miniatures, boards and their fittings have been painted and the game is ready for play. This took quite a bit of time this month. 

April 2017

ACW - In 12mm. The Confederate artillery blister (4 guns) has been painted and based. 

ACW hex rules -  More elements brought across from my Eagles at Quatre Bras rules, to try and get a better cross-over between the two sets. The rules are now tightly written, but need more work to get some of the processes to reflect what I want.

1066 - In 12mm. The armoured Norman Cavalry blister (16 figs giving 4 bases) have been painted and based. Because of the amount of horse flesh, I decided to prime in Vallejo brown primer, followed by a Nuln Oil (GW) wash, it seemed to work quite well. I also discarded the 40 x 20mm bases that came with the blister and instead used Kallistra 40 x 25mm bases. The extra depth just allows for a softer look as the horses can be shifted away from a very rigid line. 

TravelBattle by Perry Miniatures (new project) - My pre-order has recently landed and has jumped straight up the painting queue, but I am finding 8mm figures a bit of a challenge, though they look okay after inking.

Terrain - An initial batch of three resin buildings painted - a wooden Russian Church, a Normandy cafe and a Townhouse number 2 (see photo above - the buildings are still on their painting blocks while they await mat varnishing). All are from Battlescale (dot com). 

March 2017

ACW - in 12mm. Four Union artillery guns and crew painted and based. Both armies have been give a coat of Mat varnish following their recent repair and touch-up and are ready for action. 

1066 - In 12mm, two Norman archer units and two Norman heavy infantry units painted and based. 

WWII - The Tigers at Minsk rules were used in the new 6 x 6 project (see below) and I have received a few requests to do something for the France '40 campaign - so research has started on this and will likely lead to the next (free) add on module to the rules. I will be testing a change to the 'restricted command' rule to make it bite a little harder, to help reflect those 1 man turrets and shortage of radios.

6 x 6  grid project - This is a new project that I hope will become an occasional series on the blog. Emphasising the ethos of a small game in a small space, I will be using a 6 x 6 gridded game surface to highlight that it is possible to get a lot of action and decision making even on such a small format. This month we start it off with a WWII tactical firefight in an urban setting. It has been given its own page here on the Commanders website, which will hold the links to any full coverage over on the blog.

Terrain - Last year I repainted my Kallistra streams to give a darker blue and used a blending with two colours, but forgot to make a record of the colours used and now find it difficult to add new lengths of river to match, so I picked up some Vallejo USAF Light Blue from the Model Air series, which seems a good waterway colour. I have re-done all of my water pieces in this single colour.

This  revamp also gave an opportunity to add some additional grasses. While doing this I modified a 4 hex lake tile and a 3 hex lake tile into a boggy marsh type tiles for flanking the Hastings 1066 Senlac Ridge feature. Using a hairspray as a fixative for the flocks, had the unintended consequence of making the water reflective

Lesson learned .... I have started to keep a notebook that records all the colours that I use on the various figures types / terrain pieces and any unusual techniques used.

An order has gone in to Battlescale for their new 10mm Russian wooden church (see photo insert above), plus a couple of other town buildings. My collection of commercial 10mm buildings has significantly increased this year, but most still needs painting.

February 2017

ACW - The Kallistra dismounted Union cavalry blister pack has been primed, painted and based. As with all Kallistra ACW packs, you get 4 plastic bases, which for infantry usually means the 32 figures give you 8 figures per base. However for these troops I wanted a skirmish look and for them to look different from standard line formations, so I have used  another 2 bases to give 6 bases with just 5 figures per base. This also means that the blister gives three dismounted units in total. I have also taken the second half of a blister pack of unpainted confederate infantry (16 figures) from the lead pile, enough to make a two base regiment and they got painted and based. 

ACW hex rules - Having completed a Beta version, I felt the result a little disjointed and not intuitive enough. Some streamlining has been done and a couple of new ideas added, in particular adding disorder and linking this to the game clock. These are fun rules rather than a simulation, but I would still like to feel they give a period feel, so I have started reading (and taking notes from) the rather wonderful 'BATTLE in the Civil War' booklet by Paddy Griffith, which gives a close look at battlefield tactics, just to make sure that my rules have not got anything obviously silly in them (see photo insert)

1066 - To get this started, I cracked open a blister of Norman heavy infantry (spear) Kallistra 12mm figures. The 32 figures give 4 bases, so two units of 16 figures. 

WWII - Three new 10mm Pendraken vehicle types have been added to my forces. A German Brumbar and the rather wonderful looking Hetzer, plus a couple of Soviet BA-64 armoured cars. The (free) Tigers at Minsk rules had an optional rule added last year to reflect some of the ambush characteristics of the Hetzer, just to bring a bit of flavour at the tactical level. The base on the Hetzer has been extended forward to protect that rather vulnerable fixed gun ...... as I am bound to drop it at some point! (I have put a photo up over on the Painting Table page).

Terrain - More resin items from Battlescale (a Russian cottage, another town house ruin and their rather nice 10mm bridge, which at a 120mm span looks be a very nice and natural fit with my 100mm / 4" Kallistra hex terrain.)

January 2017

ACW - The rewrite of my (free) Two Flags - One Nation hex based rules is going quite well. I am just going through my Eagles at Quatre Bras rules to see whether there is anything there that I want to bring across. 

1066 - This year I want to get two small armies made up (12mm Kallistra) to get a Hastings game going. I will also need terrain to show the ridge and significant areas of boggy ground. 

Napoleonic 1809 - Pendraken 10mm French and Austrian army packs were bought a couple of years ago with honest intentions - the project is sleeping.

AWI - The project was meant to start in summer this year, but will likely be squeezed by the 1066 project.

WWII - The (free) Tigers at Minsk tactical rules have information for typical east front 1943 Orders of Battle. I would like to do a module that covers another period of the war and do something with the rules to show differences in infantry quality.

Terrain - Resin building purchases from Escenografia Epsilon (supplied pre-painted by Pendraken), Battlescale and Timecast. Kallistra slope hexes are being bought to supplement the generic hill pieces that they sell. An 8 pack of soft foliage trees bought fro S&A Scenics.