11 June 2015

Battle In The Woods

So last night was (a slightly delayed) hobby night, but rather than carry on with the painting I took the opportunity to have a run out with my new models, new woodland mat and new made-up rules.

Aside from a couple of village huts there was no terrain – deforestation in medieval times clearly much worse than historians thought – (giving a huge advantage to the bowmen) but as an impromptu game I just wanted to see how things panned out overall. No special rules or abilities were used, just the bare bones basics… move, shoot, melee.

On the Sherwood side we had the Outlaw Prince and 4 Outlaw Rangers, whilst Nottingham brought a Captain, 2 Crossbowmen and 2 Soldiers with sword & shield. The general objective (if there really was one) was to take and hold the village – 'king of the hill' in the middle of the board.

The game started cautiously as everyone raced towards the huts. On the left, the Prince and one of the Rangers managed a couple of cheeky wounds on a Crossbowman who had not taken adequate cover. Similarly, one of the Rangers on the right wounded and knocked down one of the soldiers with a great shot.

As the game progressed, the Nottingham crew were becoming pin-cushions as they got caught in crossfire. Eventually the Captain got into base contact with the Prince and an almighty battle ensued. Models were starting to pick up wounds across the board, when suddenly the Captain clobbered the Prince and he dropped. Missing their leader it was looking bad for Sherwood, but the Captain was badly hurt and was finished off with a couple more arrows. One of the soldiers managed to kill a Ranger outright and the numbers were dwindling. With two wounded Rangers on one side and a badly wounded soldier left on the other, it was pretty much over. Nottingham had clocked up more King of the Hill points (having been camped in there for two or three turns) but had all but been wiped out by the Rangers.

A lot to take on board after an opening roll of the dice. Some holes in the rules became apparent early on, other ideas emerging later. Exciting times.

The Woodland pvc mat worked well. It provided a great backdrop to the game and, with the addition of a few fences, trees and vegetable patches will be great to game on.

It does slide around on our polished dining table but it didn't move during the game which was good. I may put a table cloth or table protector underneath next time (slapped wrists!).

09 June 2015

Woodland Gaming Mat

I got home last night to find a long awaited parcel sitting quietly in the porch. It was my Pwork Wargames pvc mat.

Given that my gaming board is a long way off being looked at again, I wanted something more than a bit of green cloth to serve as a playing surface. I saw a news post somewhere that they had just released a new Woodland design so I jumped straight in. It's taken best part of a month to get here, but will it be up to the job?

I bought the smallest size they do – 90cmx90cm – although when I measured it is a little short. The pvc is very thin, in fact not much thicker than paper and the pvc smell is quite overwhelming. However, negative points out of the way let's get on to the plus side.

The guy behind this company (I discovered after my purchase) created one of the maps for Aetherium, which is an ironic link.

The illustration is amazingly detailed and looks stunning – the print quality is excellent. It's basically a bit of printed lino so is waterproof, can be wiped clean (so get your whiteboard markers on standby!) and rolls up nicely to go into its storage tube. It does retain the curl a bit so I've rolled it up the opposite way in the hope of countering the curl a little. It's got a satin finish to it so there is a little reflection but not too bad considering it's pvc.

Let's be honest, it's never going to feel as good or real as a well put together gaming board with all the trimmings. But, from a pure convenience perspective it is a genius addition to the collection. The fact that it's a great illustration and well printed just made the effort worthwhile. It also gives me something to emulate as I build my gaming board.

They have lots of different designs too, so you're bound to find one that you can use. My 90x90 came in at approx £25 with an additional £7 postage from Italy. I think the green cloth that I have been using cost £20 from Dunelm so not a bad comparison.

With the addition of some flickering battery candles from Sainsburys, things are already starting to look pretty good – on with the painting!

05 June 2015

Proof Of Life

I thought it was about time I posted something, time is ticking away and the blog has fallen silent again. There is so much going on at the moment that the days fly by but I am managing to grab 30 mins here and there to paint… yes, paint.

I've spent the last 12 months gathering an eclectic selection of models as stand-ins for my (kinda) secret project (can you name the sources?). That process is almost complete so I'm in the process of making them game-ready. Even in the height of my 40k tournament days (where I had entire weekends to paint) I never attempted to paint so many miniatures at the same time – an entire faction. It actually breaks down nicely as I'm colour co-ordinating everyone so it's obvious on the table who belongs to who.

I should have some more updates soon as the visual side of things takes shape and maybe share some of the gaming experiences of this next project too!

By way of compensation for the lack of updates, I thought I'd give you lovely people a sneak peek at things going on behind the scenes. Let the rumours and conjecture commence…

Enjoy your weekend all!