Friday, November 19, 2010

Geomorphic Hex Maps

I've been working on hex-shaped geomorphic hex maps for some of my games (from PB/PL/AIW to a larger hex size for my ancient and ww2 stuff).

Here is a sample of a wooded hill (it will fit on a 8.5" x 11" full sheet label so I can mount it on cardboard). It appears dark printed as is so I lighten up all but the grid 20% before printing. .

This is a 1.25" hex grid

The roads can be made to go at the halfway down the hex flat while streams will originate off the vertexes.

I'll post some more examples when do a few roads and streams......


Here's the same hex with a road added and the outline for the hilltop added in:
The overhanging road will be cut off after print

I'll see what I can do to add a stream to the hex....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Slow posting at the moment....

Sorry to have been a little behind on new posts of late, but I'm working on a geomorphic map system for the boardgame version of my miniature rules.....

I've also started a Roman/Barbarian "Rampage on the Rhine" campaign- we've fought through the 1st  2 battles. I'll try to post some pictures and descriptions this week.

As always Stay Tuned !

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The War to End All Wars....

A few years ago, a friend of mine came up with some fantastic 3" trench hexes and barbed wire for 15mm World War I games. I made some simple rules (2 pages of rules) and they appeared to be fun (from input from the players), as well as fast (games play usually in under an hour).
The current board and pre-set up. A typical "squad" is at the bottom of the picture.
The premise is simple- you and up to 2 other players are German night trench raiders. You are in a race to garner more points than the other players. The players are to take their squads (10 men and 2 leaders) to kill as many of the enemy (in this case it was French) and take bunkers before they reach less than 50% strength (after which they are considered to have withdrawn). In addition, each player has 6 grenades and 2 medical packs to help accomplish their task.

Why are the attackers German ? Simply because I have lots more painted French and British and only a few Germans painted up. It also let me call the rules "Stahlgewittern" (Storm of Steel)- named after the book by Ernst J√ľnger as it seemed appropriate.
The trench consists of MG positions (4 in front), regular trench line, and bunkers (from where large amounts of enemies may come). The lighter ? markers are potential spots where enemies can be activated (usually 1-3 riflemen). The red ? markers are bunkers (usually 9-12 figures) and MG nests (usually MG, but may be composed of 3 riflemen).

The attackers each take a set of 3 consecutive shell holes and setup in these on the other side of the wire. After setup, I roll to see if there are gaps in the wire, which can influence the paths the attackers have to take to get into the trench.

The defenders (the French) are controlled by die rolls and a simple logic tree. They are activated by being in range of the attackers or a grenade attack. Their actions range from firing at a target (it is nighttime, so the range is limited to visibility), charging down the trench, to throwing grenades.

There are events in the game that can happen. It consists of things like "starshell", which increases the visibility to the length of the board and "returning enemy patrol", which appears on a particular player's shellholes as they work themselves back to their lines.

As the game progresses, the player's troops take wounds that can be healed by medical packs. Of course, there is also the chance of instant death instead of wounding. Leaders help in getting players to charge enemies and to be able to fire at enemies charging at them as the defender will charge a lot when you are in his trench. This tends to create wild melee's that are always exciting to resolve.

As soon as a player reaches less than 50% active troops, he is out of the game. The other players keep going until they also reach 50%. After all player's have been eliminated, all points are totaled up (kills, bunkers uncovered, MGs destroyed). The highest scorer wins !

Its a fun, fast and furious game and has a small footprint to carry to a convention. Maybe someday I'll get more Germans painted up and be able to use the French or British for the raid....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Some rubbled buildings....

I've been re-reading Island of Fire from Leaping Horseman Books about the battle around the Red Barricades factory (they have some of the best books on the subject in the business), so I figured I needed to make some buildings (out of cardstock) so I can do some 15mm Stalingrad battles.

I've got about 1/2 of the number of buildings I need.
Not quite enough buildings yet....
I've got the templates down so that I can easily create inner-outer walls and the process down on how to print them on a single side and fold them over to create inner and outer walls easily. For mere pennies I can create rubbled buildings in any configuration I choose to (they have to fit my 3 inch hex grid).

Now I have to just make about 15-20 more......

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Creating Hex Grids

I've received a few emails asking how I generate my grids I use for my wargame maps, so I figured I'd show you. I use a small program I wrote in VBA (for Visio).
The parameters
I made a 1" hex shape in Visio and saved it as my base shape. It is this shape, along with the hexdot and label that is the basis for all the grids.

All I have to do is scale the hex based on what size I need (1 = 1 inch, 1.5 = 1.5 inch etc) and the math takes care of itself as it generates the grid.

I can input a page size and it will automatically calculate how many hexes will fit completely on that page at that page size.

The hexes themselves can be with or without label, hex dot, or hex outline as desired.

The grid itself can oriented normally or 90 degrees and I can make the odd (1st row) higher than the 2nd or vice versa. It also centers the whole grid on the page and automatically generates the proper layers for the shapes (layers help when adding things later, like terrain, etc and allows a quick change to all items on that layer).

All in all, it is a simple and decently fast program (although it will take awhile to make a grid of 1/2" hexes on a 40" x 40" sheet though) and allows me to create grids of any size I need, along with their labels.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New After Action Report is up

I've completed the AAR for scenario 3 at Where the Iron Crosses Grow.

Enjoy !

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Endgame posted in "WtICG"

I've posted the endgame (anti-climatic as it was) in "Where the Iron Crosses Grow" here WtICG

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New post in "Where the Iron Crosses Grow"

I've put the 1st part the next solo scenario up in my AAR page.

Enjoy !

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Computer Crash !

Sorry for lack of posting (I've got another AAR for "Where the Iron Crosses Grow") but my laptop dumped on me.

I hope to get it back and running soon.....

Friday, August 6, 2010

Some Trenches...

I figured that since I'm on a roll making terrain, I needed some trench parts. Presto ! Its amazing what you can get done when you put your head to it.....

Now I can make that 15mm "Bunker Busting" scenario.....

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Some new terrain to use

I made some railroad tracks so I can incorporate that kind of terrain into my ww2 game.

Maybe I can create an event where a train actually pulls up (as a reinforcement event :D).

I hope to get to use it soon....

Friday, July 30, 2010

A not so peaceful interlude....

I've completed solo campaign scenario #2, but for a quick interlude I have jumped in the time machine to 1944 to test my rules with some later war armor. These are using my rules described in "Where Iron Cross Grow" narrative section.

I devised a simple scenario to see how some later war German and US armor plays out.

The situation is somewhere in France after the breakout from the beaches. An experienced platoon of 4 Shermans is heading down a road and is ambushed by a Tiger and a Pz IV. The Germans are suffering from scarce ammo, so there is a better than normal chance they may run out of AP rounds ! I won't detail the shot by shot basis but give the action in general.

The situation at the start.
The 1st two Shermans have just forded a shallow stream while the other 2 provide overwatch. The Germans have a hull down Pz IV on the hill and a Tiger in the woods to the top of the map.

German initial shots are good and manage to penetrate both Shermans on their side of the stream, but their penetration rolls are not so good. The Shermans are not destroyed, but immobilized and shocked (I forgot to apply the "brew up" rules to these guys and it might have made a difference- so much for being the rules writer !).

The cards favor the Americans, and they manage to recover enough to throw some Willie Pete (White Phosphorous) on the Tiger, causing him to button up and partially blinding it. They also manage to get their other Shermans across the river and heading south of the hill thanks to a generous Initiative Card pull.

The German reaction is sluggish (they didn't get much reaction time) and the US response has been top notch (The WP vs the Tiger is a great move and something with the American preponderance in that area should use a LOT). The Pz IV vacates the hill and retreats toward the Tiger, while the Tiger fails to do anything meaningful (they failed their MC to rally the shock) as it sorts itself out from the shock of being WPed with the turret open.

The Pz IV retreats while the Tiger tries to get its stuff together.

The Tiger finally gets a shot off and kills one of the immobile Shermans near the stream. The Pz IV and Shermans moving through the village trade a few shots with it as it retreats north through the town. The Pz IV (and German) luck runs out (bad initiative cards again) and its destroyed scuttling away.

Meanwhile the Tiger finally puts paid to the other Sherman immobilized near the stream, but the Shermans approaching from the now-vacated town (oh for some hidden infantry with Panzerfausts !) manage to immobilize it in return. The crew panics and abandons it. The US has won.

All in all, an enjoyable little fracas that played out in about 10 game time minutes.

I figure I'd show an example of AFV cards I use for this game (they are laminated so I can note things on them such as Armor Leader, ammo loss, armor degradation due to extra damage, etc).

As noted I forgot to apply the brew up rules for the Shermans, and it might have made a difference, but the Germans never seemed to get the cards. Unrealistic ? Maybe. Fun ? Definitely......

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Finished with scenario 1

Scenario 1 of my 15mm ww2 campaign is done and written up in 3 parts over in my narratives over in the "Where the Iron Crosses Grow" blog.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Ive resurrected my after action report and added a (temporary) Products and Services page.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Some changes to my blog...

As you can see, I've made a few changes to my blog. More are coming, so stay tuned !

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Road and Stream templates

I've created some more templates for my base map I posted yesterday.

First, the roads (this is a small portion at about 50% size because the bitmap is so large):

Second, I have the 1st stream templates (they follow the hex spine and spill into the adjacent hexes in my rules) at about 50% size.

Now I have to come up with some fields !

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A new hex grid base map

I use hexes a lot for my miniature games, as they speed the games up a lot- not having to measure things with a tapemeasure or yardstick is a definite speed increase !

As such, I've been experimenting on creating a new base map for my 3" hex games. This is a small part of the whole piece (I print it on 36" x 50" or so) that I can lay out with any other map of that type so I can get field size I want in any hex-grain direction.

I've also been working on some hills templates for these which I can cut out (I've cut this image down 25% so it wouldn't make as big a file) :

And while I was at it, I figured I'd try to see if I could make some decent tree templates as well:

I'm not sure about the tree template yet, but I will use some of the hills for my WW2 15mm ruleset. I hope to post some pictures soon, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hill 609 (Djebel Tahent) Tunisia, 1943

I've been reading Rick Atkinson's excellent An Army At Dawn, an excellent book on Operation Torch and the campaign in Tunisia. In that vein, I figured I'd make a map for PB/PL/AIW or PG use.

I chose to use more of an AIW style for this map (as I will for any more Tunisian maps I will make) as it seemed to represent the terrain well.

Djebel Tahent (Hill 609) is bounded on the South and East sides by cliffs (hence the black lines). The streams were apparently dry or very low as I do not hear them mentioned much in the battle. They probably should be a small movement hinderance to non-foot units, but much more of a hinderance to half-tracked and wheeled vehicles.

The Germans (a composite regiment called Barenthin- composed of convalescent veterans and paratroopers- a tough unit) were set up on 609 and the surrounding hills north of the stream and northwest of Sidi Nsir.
The American 34th Division was entrusted with clearing the area. Needless to say, the battle was tough with many attacks and counter-attacks and lasted from may 27th to April 1, 1943.

This map could also be used for some generic WW2/AIW actions as well.

All in all, a fun map to make, allowing me to extend my mapping symbols to cover some new ground other than Russia.

Any suggestions and all comments as always appreciated.
Edit: North should be about 60 degrees to the west, not straight up (I've corrected this on the map but am not going to repost a new PNG).

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Back from Nashcon

And a good time was had by all.

As always, the Nashcon convention, although small, was well done.

Check it out

Next year I'll have to put on a game or two....

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Off to Nashcon !

Heading out on the road again to the miniature convention in Nashcon. I'll bring a set of my Stalingrad maps and my overview map along.

I hope to see you there !

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Back from a break.....

I've returned from a break with my family and am ready to get back to map making.....

On deck I have ability to creat a Brest-Litovsk (1941) map and environs....

Also for a Sicily 1943 (Gela area) map and some Tunisia 1942 maps...

Stay tuned.....

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Stalingrad Scenario- Spartakovka One

Now that I've got a Stalingrad map, I can make Panzerblitz scenarios for it.

Disclaimer: There is no balance built in to the scenario. I feel that if you are fighting a battle and its even, you are one step away from losing that battle. Also, this has not been playtested. Besides, so many folks use different versions of PB/PL/AIW that it would be pointless for me to focus on one. To that end, I will introduce the forces and let the players decide how to compose them from the units that come in PB as I would use them, and allow them to modify these so that it fits their counter set(s). Also, the Fortifications can vary depending on which rule set you use, so they can be adjusted as well.

The length of turns is an arbitrary 20 length. In actuality, the fight lasted over a period of weeks.

The dark area is out of play. Units must set up in the areas as designated in red on the map. The German 194th Artillery Regiment is off-map to the West. The Soviets have no massive off-board artillery, as they are currently being used in the life and death struggle for the factories to the South, but do have some help from the Volga flotilla.

Victory in is total if the Germans control all of town hexes. If they don't control them all, then the degree of victory will vary. Again, I leave this up to the players to decide.

267th Infantry Regiment(3 Battalions): 24 Rifle, 75mm IG, 150IG, 37mm AT, 3x81mm Mtr, 3 Trucks
274th Infantry Regiment(2 Battalions): 12 Rifle, 75mm IG, 37mm AT, 2x81 Mtr, 2 Trucks
194th Pak Battalion: 76mm AT (Russian captured), 37mm AT, 2 Trucks
194th Pioneer Battalion: 6 Engineer
194th Artillery Regiment(offboard): 3x105mm Art, 1x150mm Art.
Elements of Kamfgruppe Krumpen(elements of 16th Panzer Division): 1xPzkw IIIJ, StuG IIIF, 2 Eng, 6 Grenediers 2 Halftracks
Elements 16th Panzer Artillery Regiment(offboard): 105mm Artillery.

1st /124th Infantry Brigade: 3 Rifle Co, SMG Co, 45mm AT, 82 Mtr
Elements 282nd NKVD: 3 NKVD Co, 120mm Mtr, Wagon
149th Rifle Brigade: 9 Rifle Co, 4 Smg Co, 45mm AT, 76mm IG, 120 Mtr, 76mm AT
Remnants 21st Tank Training Battalion (anywhere in 149th Brigade area): 2 T-34A (early version T-34 to represent untrained crew in latest T-34). One (players's choice is made at start and he does not have to reveal until he moves the non-immobilized one) is immobilized and dug in (MP value 0, defense +3).
Elements of 2nd /124th and 3rd /124th Rifle Brigade: 3 Rifle Co, SMG Co, 120mm Mtr, Wagon.
Fortifications (anywhere in Russian setup area): 10 Blocks, 6 minefields (randomly pulled), 6 improvied positions.
Offboard support: He has 4 uses of the Volga River Flotilla (he can use at most 1 per turn) at 122mm Artillery equivalence.

Designer's Notes: Designing this scenario was fun. Basically, I took the OBA from the battle from various sources and turned them into PB units. The fortifications choice is a bit arbitrary. There actually is an assault with the rest of KG Krumpen to the North (where the Germans attacked with Stuka support as well), but my map does not extend that far..... Maybe for a future release (Spartakovka Two ?). In addition, the battles for the tractor factory are going on to the South at the same time.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please let me know !

Edit: I mispelled Krumpen on the Map as "Kruppen". I had it right in the text here. Many apologies ! :D

Saturday, May 1, 2010

And now... Ozereyka Bay !

Why Ozereryka Bay ? You may ask "where the hell is THAT anyway ?"

Its just west of Novorossiysk, and the Soviets attempted an amphibious landing there in 1943. Lend lease Stuart Tanks ! Soviet Marines ! Rumanian Defenders (and some Germans for good measure). What's not to like ?

Here's the 1st pass of the map:

I had to guess a bit on the woods (there is mention of clumps of woods where the Germans/Rumanians hid some gun batteries). Otherwise, I think its correct (or as correct as a map like this can be).

I'm still working on a good cliff representation, as well as a better beach style. The full size is about 24" x 30".

Friday, April 30, 2010

And now.... for Prokhorovka !

Here is my Prokhorovka map- its still missing some secondary roads and needs some edge cleanup, but is otherwise close to being done for a 1st pass...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My base Stalingrad map

I figured I'd also post my base map (without hexes and no corrections for a hex grid or woods or roads) This is what I will print and hang on my wall and can refer to when reading stuff on Stalingrad as my handy reference.

Also from this I can make a scaled down map to any part of Stalingrad (say 1:100 yards or even lower if desired).

Stalingrad at last !

I've finally finished my Stalingrad map at Panzerblitz scale (1 hex = 250 yards/meters). I can make it as one large map or 3 smaller maps (South, Center, and North).

All in all, it is over 120" long when put together. It does put the fighting for the city in perspective :D

Now all I have to do is find some good scale maps with decent detail of Prokhorovka.....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Some of my Microarmor counters...

Here are some of my (double sided) counters I use for my platoon-sized Microarmor rules (scale is 100 yards a hex).

This is a 3 Battalion German Regiment, with mortars but minus the Regimental Guns (infantry and AT). Of course the left half is the front, the right half the back.

Double sided counters are really easy to make, just cutting them out can be a bit of a chore, as you have to be careful. If you have access to one of a good bread-board cutter, it helps a lot. Just make sure you mirror the backside when creating the sheet (pretend you are just folding it over and see if it matches up).

I've got the system for double-sided counters down pat. Maybe I should publish a HOWTO artcle with pictures if anyone is interested.....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Some Panzer Leader Type counters...

In addition to working on my Stalingrad Map, I've also worked on some historical Panzer-Leader scenarios and counters using the maps. The counters here are all double sided (the lighter side is a step loss), and have a lot of extra info that my own "house" rules use, but work just as well with the original rules if you ignore all the extra stuff.

First up is a generic 3 Battalion Regiment, along with some 279th Division troops. Included on this sheet is one (of three) light artillery Battalion and the Division's medium artillery Battalion and some sundry divisional transport (mostly wagons, but a few trucks as well).

Stalingrad Center (250) map

Here it is, barring any last minute changes:

There's still about 1/2 more of a map size to go for South Stalingrad (including the Grain Elevator).

When you look at as one combined map, you get a very good impression of just how large a battle went on there back in Late 1942 - Early 1943.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Stalingrad at 1 hex = 250 meters

Here is the almost finished central section of my Stalingrad (Panzerblitz) map.

The (non-grid, non-yellow) portion is my previous Stalingrad North map, which this one mates with. I have the flexibility of printing it as 2 maps or one long one as I feel needed.

It still needs a bit of work, such as labeling and such as well as some cleanup to determine where city/town hexes exactly are etc, but the bulk of the work is done.
I'll post a final version (labels, etc) when I final proof the map (there are some corrections that will need to be made).
Stay Tuned....

Thursday, March 18, 2010

From the fields of France to the Steppes of Mother Russia....

Hundreds of miles and over 1000 years in time is an abrupt change of pace from my last post, but my mind tends to work in strange and mysterious ways......

This is a WW2 scenario I concocted to test some rules I came up with for small-scale AFV/Infantry actions. Strangely enough, the inspiration for the AFV rules came to me in a dream, which I shall not bore you with here and instead bore you with this after action report !

The scenario is Summer of 1941, Southern Ukraine. The German juggernaut in the South had a much harder time than the Northern and Central Armies because of the sheer number of Soviets they faced and the fact that they had a reduced number of Panzer Divisions to deal with this threat.

A Soviet small local counterattack has broken through the lines with 2 T-34s heading toward the rear to mess with the supply troops. A lone German early MK III which had been in the vehicle park under repair is the only thing stopping these rampaging Russians.

The Pz III manages to ambush then two tanks by hiding in a small wooded ravine (the wood template I have serves as a stand-in for wooded ravine) as they made their way toward the German rear. At Start:

The German successfully hits the lead T-34, with its 2nd shot, immobilizing it with track damage. A third (and final allowed shot this turn) manages to even penetrate the turret armor (barely) but is a dud. The Soviet crew bails out in a panic. Now the odds are 1:1 !

The German kicks his tank into gear, figuring that a moving target has a better chance to avoid the remaining T-34s gun. This is good choice- the Soviets don't hit as well as the Germans, and with the German commander exposed (CE) the German has a better shot back on the move than the Soviets, something these early model T-34s with their 2-man cannot do (the commander was also the gunner).

The Soviet wins the initiative roll, pivoting and coming to a stop in order to get a better shot (firing while moving is not very effecient.) He manages to pop a shot that misses by a mile. His MGs however (as he is close enough to the German tank) spray the German tank good, causing his commander to check whether he has to button up or not. He passes, but barely.

Pre-German Turn 2 (T-34 has moved and fired).

The German has almost no chance of penetrating the front armor (either turret or hull) of the T-34, but decides to fire anyway and hope for luck (it is usually better to fire early in a turn instead of later, as the further you move and use MPs, the harder it gets). Of the 3 shots, 1 hits the front glacis and bounces, a 2nd manages to hit a hatch on the front glacis (Non-penetrating, causes a shock check for the Soviet which is a good thing for the German).

As his tank is in motion, the German continues moving forward and around the flank in the hopes of getting a better shot. The Soviet, being close enough, gets a chance to snap shot at the German as he runs across his front. He fails, probably from not hearing the commander over the ringing in their ears from all the hitting-non-penetrating shot bouncing off the hull !

At the start of turn 3:

The German wins the iniative and manages to score 3 hits on the T-34. All non-penetrating but causing further shock checks. He continues to wheel around the flank and towards the T-34 rear.

The Soviet passes the shock check, and manages to re-start and spin in place and stop again(vehicles that are stopped must attempt to start and may fail based on reliability and training), taking a shot at the mobile Panzer. A clear miss. His next shot should be better as he will not be in motion and he will only suffer turret movement penalties if the Panzer moves out of its line of fire. The Dance of Death continues....

Turn 4

The Soviet gets the iniative and promptly misses its shot (its Rate of Fire is very low). It sprays turret MG fire in frustrated rage, but the German commander in the command cupola does not budge. To top it off, the T-34 fails to re-start, so it cannot pivot its front facing toward the German.

This is the chance the German was waiting for and he got it. He hit the side of the tank and the AP round (before firing you declare what type of round you are firing, usually AP, but HE vs soft targets and some have smoke as well). burrows into the innards of the tank, destroying it decisively. The Soviet penetration is halted !

The home-brew rules are pretty simple and I use AFV cards to hold a lot of the info for the game (They are also able to be written on in eraseable marker to note things that can change from game to game or to denote extra damage).

This is an example of an early T-34:

Where do I go next ? I am not sure. I guess it depends on who shows up to play in our next session and what they feel like playing (The Vikings and Carolingians are still out :D)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I had to turn on Comment Moderation..

Due to some nefarious individuals attempting to hawk their wares on this site. I'm sorry to have to do this, but I don't have any choice.

Stay tuned. More Wargaming to follow.....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Finally got some players together and had a scenario played. The results where very good (well, for the winner they were good, the loser, not so much :D).

A large Viking raider force had the bad luck of raiding near where a local Duke had been campaigning against a rival. The two rivals put aside their differences and combined to attack the raiders.

In addition, the raiders had not had time enough to gather enough horses to mount their force (something they were known to do before trouncing through a region) and so were not as mobile as they were wont to be. They also were a bit scattered as they were in the process of acquiring the mounts when the Ducal army came upon them.

The end result: they were run down by a slightly larger army and forced into battle.

Olaf Six-Tooth and his brother Sven the Cross-eyed gathered their troops as best they could, each taking a unit of their best troops to lead.

The Dukes of Framage and Merde disposed of a slightly larger force, superior in cavalry and archers, along with enough infantry to match up with the Viking foot.

The Vikings knew they had to attack and break the force in front of them to get away, as they had few other options, seeing as their enemy had archers and they did not, so they advanced to the attack (besides, what good Viking wouldn't want to attack ?).

Olaf (the elder) took the lead and led the main attack on the Ducal line. At the first sign of the Ducal archers letting fly their feathery shafts, he proudly stood up in the stirrups of his horse (he and his brother had some of the few they had acquired) and yelled encouragement to his men "Boys ! They canna shewt fer Sh.." His last words never heard as a feathery shaft found his eye-hole and buried itself into his brain.

It was all downhill for the raiders after that. The Vikings put up a valiant struggle, but Olaf's death seemed to take a lot of the fight out of them. Their attack petered out and the Ducal army pushed them back. Sven, upon seeing his brother go down, seemed to lose heart himself. Or maybe it was because the Ducal Cavalry came down upon him light thunder and wiped his unit out.

Valhalla was suitably filled after the battle, the Ducal army thoroughly trouncing the Vikings and suffering some casualties, but nowhere near as many. The Dukes praised God and each other for their great victory over the hated Northmen.

Of course, within hours came to blows again over who would take most of the credit for this victory over the heathens from the North. And so the continued tragedy of the Dark Ages.....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Now that I am getting back into some miniature wargaming, I think I'll discuss a few things I typically use.

My figures are mounted on single metal bases I cut from scrap from a local metal shop. For aesthetic purposes, I flock these (usually green grass, but sometimes a sandy tan).

My movement trays are actually good strength strip magnets, stuck down to heavy cardboard stock and flocked a color depending on which side they are (black and tan). There are 3 sizes. I can then put as many figures as needed to create a unit on a base, and allow removal of figures when they are casualties. The good magnets allow the trays to be moved without knocking over individual figures.

Another good feature is that it allows me to mix and match forces as needed (e.g. allies) from the different nationalities I have, with minimal confusion as to which side those forces are on. I can even have deserters from one side set up on opposite sides. For an some pictures of the bases in action, look at the archive from back in January last year.

This flexibility allows me to mix and match bases as needed. For example my DSR Mass Battle ruleset (DSRMB), each unit actually takes up 2 hexes, so there are 2 bases placed side-by side per unit (although skirmishers can move seperately). I get the bases out, set the figures on the bases, and off the battle goes.

Most of my rules use hexes of various sizes, although the most common is a 3" grid. The grid makes the game go by fast (something I strive for in my rules), with no measuring needed.

I handle terrain in 2 levels- I have color acetate sheets with various hills, woods, and streams that I lay down. I can play the game that way or if I want a more 3D effect, take the time and lay out various tree clumps which are removeable if a unit wishes to move into that hex. For a good example, look back in the archive to June of last year for my terrain templates and my tree clusters.

Its a simple system that is very flexible. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let me know- I'm always open to new ideas.