Saturday, April 30, 2022

Expanding forest and hedges update

 I had made the plan to update my forests with newer woodland scenics trees and to improve the hedges for ECW games.

Along that plan I purchased the materials back in December, now I realized it would be some delay before I could do up these forests since the other works on the house would take priority.

Little did I know that the heaviest snow on record was about to fall ...

Now that the winter is finally past, the other works are taking shape (on the house) - I have a gap of a few more days before the weather is good enough to start in earnest on the outdoor improvements that are planned.  With that gap I have put in efforts to get the works on the forests started at least and likewise for the hedgerows.

first stages of the trees - bent into shapes
and fixed onto fender washers to let them
stand easier on the tabletop


base coated black, then light grey and tan
painted onto trunks and some
branches, ready for flocking

 So that I would be able to make maximum use of the flocking efforts (and waste less flocking) I am doing the hedges re-shaping now so that all can be flocked at the same time.

the old original shape of my hedges

some in-progress shots
top right the 'new' re-shaped hedgerow
mid-right the original shape of that type
of hedgerow
bottom, a 'spread' hedgerow of Jeff's
I plan to also re-shape these ones

The original hedgerows all looked like they were perfectly manicured, since they were done in a rush job so that we could get to the game table as fast as possible.  Now with some time, I can do the re-shaping and essentially re-use all of the earlier work and it will have the 'unkempt' look desired.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

End of an era ...Last of the War Dungeon

 A great game player and keen historical student (especially the uniforms and personal effects of the 1880's to 1960's (from the Sudan & South Africa through the trenches of WWI and the tanks of WWII and on into Korea and Vietnam)) McLean, has announced a change in venue.  Due to this change the War Dungeon, the game space under his home, will be shutting down at its current location in Nanaimo.

This was the set up for a final large game action, featuring his 1880's redcoats and Sudan miniatures and more.

Plenty of Jeff's former collection were featured in this mammoth game!

a view of the table from the south to north
the river was 'attached' to the sea via a separate table

The situation was a Turkish walled city was coming under threat from massive forces approaching by land and sea!

some of the land attackers

The British had a chance to arrive before - or at the same time - or after - some of the attacking forces by sea.

Amazingly BOTH of the large British ships arrive BEFORE the mass of the attacking fleet.

the British force included a massive metal hull GUNBOAT

along with an armed merchant ship

The trick for the British forces is that they were limited in number ... the attackers would have an unknown number of waves of attacking forces both from land and sea.

Yours truly and my eldest son were tasked with coming up with some naval rules (to sort of match with the land rules) and handle the ships of both sides.

While other players took on the various attacking and defending columns of troops, our host ended up commanding some of the British forces in a supply column.

the pirate forces come on to engage the British

the supply columns are attacked in force ...

they then recoiled into a walled compound and fortified it

Meanwhile the island forces had seen the telegraph works being destroyed and at dawn witnessed the massed sails of the approaching pirates.

the burning telegraph works

Within a few turns the ships had all locked into combat and many boarding actions had been initiated.

Though two ships of the pirates were already sunk and the leader's vessel had capsized a landing boat full of Ghurkas who then proceeded to board the leader's boat and turn the decks into a red wash as the ship was sinking ...

boarding actions in progress

El-Gandalfi's command, just moments before
the Ghurkas swarmed the decks ...

A little video was captured of the table around this point in the game:

Over in the land battle another British column had arrived and engaged forces outside the telegraph office ...

a furious fight at the hill slope
to attempt to block the telegraph road access

more field artillery sallies from the walled town
in an attempt to blast away the attacking land forces

overview of the land battle
burning telegraph office seen in foreground
to the right
walled town in the distance

Supply column was overcome, while the naval fight continued, with the gunboat prevailing - now having sunk at least 5 sloops of the pirates and the command ship of El-Gandalfi!

gunboat laying waste to many smaller boats
with wooden hulls

supply column captured by nomadic horsemen

The grinding attrition continued for a few more turns.

Valiantly, the troops from the island were transferred to the gunboat and a supply officer who fled the column managed to be rescued and attach to the gunboat as it steamed up river ...

the island garrison musters during the start of the day

loading into a launch, with some cavalry

the view of the telegraph fire

furious land battle near the telegraph office

neither side willing to surrender

the tribesmen who captured the telegraph office
attempted to grab part of the supply column
they were shot down by the gunboat!

view from the land to the sea

can you spot the opening between the two tables?

great view of the field

seeing the fort in the south with the pirates sails beyond

now the great gates to the walled town were to be sealed

Could the British stop the oncoming hordes?

the gun line (seen in the bottom of this image)
did not manage to hold back the tide of onrushing Mahidist forces

casualties mounted on the gunboat
even with the added redcoats to the marines
not all guns could be kept manned

the balloonists view

out towards the telegraph office

the whole of the south of the field was now occupied
by the attacking forces

even though the gunboat sank another three wooden pirate
boats it was not enough to block the
river channel

the pirates would succeed in penetrating the
river channel and setting up a landing point
close to the docks of the walled town

So ... just as in Khartoum, the British were not able to stem the tide of attackers from either land or sea.

Great final game set and match for the War Dungeon!

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

At long last ... table top game

This took 5 months of works in the unpacking, refinishing of bathrooms (more to do yet), securing a roof and deck space, electrical, water, tile, drywall, painting etc. and this past Sunday my eldest son suggested getting the minis out on the tabletop.

It was a SHAKO meeting engagement, using some second line troops and cossacks and militia in a simulation of 1812 ...

Russian Command


the Russian forces were put on the 'new' covers

a long-view of the whole table
something I could not do since 2011

Austrians were on the old 'green paper' bases

the 'after action' of the whole battle plans
our horse forces were going to meet in battle!

first turn was all about the Cossacks closing in (top right)

by turn 3 there were exchanges of artillery

foot 'cossack' forces (of dubious quality)

Cossacks engaged Austrian light horse
managing to give and take in the casualty counts

by turn 5 the horse were exhausted

both the Austrian right and Russian right
infantry formations were now on the move

these both contained less than 'stellar' troops

though the Cossack foot were not 'gone'
they were to have little further impact on the battle
other than being eliminated this turn

turn 7 was to be the pivotal one
the losses counters were 1 Austrian (of 9 needed)
and 2 Russian (of 6 needed)

both divisions were now fully engaged in battle

with the outcome of the entire conflict
hinging on the outcome of second rate divisions ...

Austrian horsemen, were not able to engage fully again as neither
squadron could sustain any more casualties

at this point the Austrians conceded defeat, as the
central division had fled the field and taken 1/2 of all
their artillery with them

the other Austrian foot division had not broken through
the Russian left.

Austrians withdrew ...

leaving many behind

All in all it was really fun to get some minis back on the table and test out the new stand covers.

I'll be making more of them soon and then re-doing the grass covering of the table cloth along with flocking the new covers.