Action at Oberickelsheim - Part I - Preview -
I was going to paint up some Seleucid 15mm catafracts over the New Year break, but instead I've been creating a Modern Spearhead scenario. I think that's two years those damn catafracts have been sitting on my desk now, all undercoated with nowhere to go...
Now the reason I'm doing a full-blown scenario is because I'll be hosting not one but two gaming buddies come this Saturday, so I want to take advantage of some of the extra possibilities available when you have an umpire. Ancients battles are pretty-well much stand-up affairs, so an umpire isn't necessary, but modern warfare gaming is something that can benefit a lot from the players having incomplete information.
I've been beavering away on my terrain boards, and now have ten of them, so that's 40 square feet of table top. I struggle to fit just 6 in my "games" room, so putting 10 of them together requires me to take over our apartment's living room. "Coincidentally" the wife and kids are away at the in-laws until Monday... Here we see them put together, and with all the villages in place, but without any woods positioned yet (I have to make those up this evening; there may be a few more touches added to some boards, for example, along the stream banks). The complete Czechoslovakian 15th Motor Rifle Division will be commanded by Pat who'll be coming over from Kobe (I'll be assisting move the hordes...), and Aaron will be bringing up his American 1st Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division from Iwade in Wakayama (Pat and I were both at Aaron's house last week playing Machiavelli).
Here's a reverse angle shot, showing the initial lines of advance for each force; white for the Americans, moving north; orange for the Czechoslovakians. moving west, so they are going to meet more or less at an angle rather than head-to-head. Each force will start with a single reconnaissance unit on table, and other units will be gradually fed into the conflict. Neither side knows the exact victory conditions of the other, although they should be able to extract some hints from their initial briefing information. Which I can't post here yet, lest my players read them, so you'll just have to remain in the dark about the background for the moment! The date is 17 October 1979, so it's M60s and M113s for the Americans, while the Czechoslovakians are stuck with towed AA guns on-table instead of missiles. But at least they now have some BVPs; the division having just ditched its OT-62s the previous year.
Your terrain boards look great and once the trees are on it will be an impressive playing area. Can't wait to see some photos of the game in progress. The complete 15MRD on the table thats some lead!
Have a great weekend.
Woods are definitely going to be the problem. Back in NZ, I had some great carpet off-cuts that had several shades of green interwoven that made for great woods bases. In Japan, I think I have yet to see so much as a fitted carpet, let alone a carpet shop, let alone a carpet shop distributing off-cuts or samples...ReplyDelete
So I'm making some up from clump foliage at the moment, but they won't be as numerous as for the game as I'd really like. Still, the Czechoslovakian commander has been told it's not ideal infantry country!
Hi Luke, might I ask how you managed to carve out the rivers and roads, and still managed to get a smooth look to the water surface.ReplyDelete
Well, the foam mats I used have a smooth side (useful) and a dimpled side (useless for modelling). Carving the slopes just means using a sharp knife. The roads aren't actually caved out at all; just painted on - they sometimes look slightly sunken due to the grass flocking either side of them adding a millimetre or so onto the mean terrain height. The rivers were more tricky (and note they aren't finished yet - what you see here is a half-way house). What I did (after some trial and error attempts at other methods) was completely cut through the mat do give me a river segment a centimetre thick which I then sliced horizontally so it was only half a centimetre thick, and glued it back in place with some shoe-sole-type glue, half a centimetre lower than its original position. The river banks had to be carved out before the river bed was reinserted. The hills are carved out of the same stuff, and glued similarly, on top of the base board.ReplyDelete
The rivers will be improved in the future (more on this later).
Aah thanks Luke, to clarify, you cut entirely through the mat for the rivers then cut and glued the 'reduced' size piece back in? Is this a problem with durability?, is the shoe glue strong enough to stop splitting?ReplyDelete
Yes, right through. It seems to be fine. You have 5 mm of vertical contact area to be glued, extending for over 600 mm horizontally, so that's quite a lot of contact area. The contact isn't perfect, of course, because of cutting errors, but it works out. Also, and this is important, the rivers are meandering, so they sort of lock into position anyway without a clearly-defined fold line like you would get if they were straight. Clearly the rivers sections are weaker, than non-rivers ections, but they seem to be strong enough.ReplyDelete
A fantastic looking terrain, splendid!!ReplyDelete
I see you have used the "English" date for your recent Pydna AAR, most Frenchmen seem to go for 172 BC :-)