Thursday, 21 November 2019

Now it's not a shapeless brown lump....

 So, in a nutshell, it's a cut out from a Google Image search
of the Uffington Hill horse stuck down on a 'chalk' painted
area of the hill (with Citadel Wraith Bone spray), and used as
a mask so grass won't stick to the hillside.
Putting some finishing touches to the chunks of pink foam that Andy cut for me on Saturday and Sunday, and I started work on yesterday.

Yes, it's a hill with a white horse :D

Usual approach, although in the absence of any 3mm hardboard the hill is stuck down on 3mm foam board to hopefully keep it from getting scuffed at the corners.

Grasswork is the usual. If you've missed out on this, there is a video (yes, you actually get to hear me talk) on a previous post here.

The end result.
Note this fits Andy and my standard hill geometry - in fact the
right hand end is one small extra hill and a spare from the
Omaha Beach build.  
One aside - the layering spray in the pump bottle does tend to gunk up with dried glue if you're not careful, so you really do need to do what they suggest and spray warm soapy water through the nozzle straight after you're done (just unscrew the lid, dip the business end in a cup of warm water and washing up liquid and squirt a lot). I didn't last time I did this, so I had to buy a couple of cheap spray bottles off Amazon to decant the otherwise perfectly good layering glue into.

Anyway, here's the process:

  • WarWorld Scenics's 2mm summer grass, on a layer of Hobbycraft PVA, using their static grass applicator;
  • WarWorld's layering spray, while the previous layer of grass is still wet;
  • More static grass, this time WWS Autumm 4mm, with the applicator;
  • More layering spray, again while still wet;
  • More static grass - WWS 6mm dead
  • More layering spray
  • a light dusting of WWS 2mm field straw in a few places
  • peel off the mask, pat self on back :D
  • various grass tufts, and Noch flowers.
  • A couple of rocks out of the garden.
And there you go. 

If you're at Steel Lard, you may well see it. Or even play on it.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

More scenery...

...but no photos, as I've locked up the workshop and gone indoors, and it's bloomin' cold out :D Besides, there's a finite limit as to how excited you're going to get over two big bits of pink insulation foam and filler painted Sandtex Bitter Chocolate and left to dry. Look. It's a brown lump, ok?

It'll be worth looking at by the end of tomorrow, I promise.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019


There's a fair bit of tidying up to do after Omaha, and it's taken me a good hour to get all the figures and bits in the right boxes... Apart from anything else, I have a barrow and a hill to finish for Steel Lard for the weekend, and I need the workspace, so the tiles will have to get tidied away before tomorrow evening.

Should I be worried that while I was clearing up I had at least three thoughts for things that need doing before I next run Bloody Omaha? Since you ask:

  • I'm not happy with the two German defensive outposts: they're not historically accurate in a number of ways, not least that the two bunkers should look more across the beach than out to sea, and have blast walls protecting them from bombardment from offshore. Fortunately, the defences are only on three small bits of craft foam.
  • I'd really like a backscene along the rear of the board - needs to be low enough to reach over, but something that allows me to take low-angle photos and not get bookcases in the background!
  • some means of marking wire as cut that doesn't require removing whole 6" sections.
Stop whimpering, Andy! It's not till 2024!

Battle Report - 18 Nov 2918 - "The Second Battle of Newbury" - Pikeman's Lament

Newbury is top right of this board,.
The final game in our club Pikeman's Lament campaign - the Royalists are fleeing towards Oxford and have been caught on the hop by a night march and pincer movement by the forces of Parliament.

Grahame set this up as two battles on back to back 8'x4' tables - on one side 3 Royalist players (Shawn, Tom, Pippa) against 3 Parliament (Colin, Tony, AndyM2), on the other 4 Royalists (me as Maurice, Carl as Goring, Ash, Alan) against two Parliament (AndyM, Grahame), both with double size forces. There was an option for Parliament to cross from one table to the other (across the main road to Oxford) if they broke through the lines.

Donnington (and a regimental gun which must
have taken some effort to get up there)
bottom left.
Each named commander had chits they could cash in for an activation re-roll: our cause wasn't helped by Goring (and his supply of re-rolls) getting killed in an early cavalry fight on the left wing, resulting in me having to bail out Carl's terrible dice rolling in order not to have AndyM (as Cromwell) simply roll up that flank.

I held on reasonably well in the centre - Grahame played his usual cagey waiting game which meant we were both dying the proverbial death of a thousand cuts from long range musketry. A fight I always seem to lose in the long run. Ash and Alan between them held off Parliament around Donnington keep....

Over on the other table, Shawn did a superb job of keeping Colin out of Newbury, but unfortunately, AndyM2 (we have too many AndyM's, never mind Andy's, at the club) managed to break through the Royalist left with a sizeable force, and at the point we called it was sitting astride the road to Oxford and threatening Ash's rear and the Royalist baggage train.

So - a win for Parliament, much like in history :D

Add another to our long list of ECW battles the club has refought! (Edgehill, Marston Moor, First Newbury, Bridlington, Stilton, Cropredy Bridge (twice)...)

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Ok, not quite the final time.... Andy and I decided to see what would happen with Wave 3 of the US landing craft this afternoon.

Answer? Mopping up is really, really hard when the things you're trying to mop up are in hard cover behind barbed wire and they have lots of razor sharp 7.92 mm teeth!

After about three hours, Andy had reduced the Germans to two manned MGs and a pair of 5cm Granatenwerfer. and we called it a day.

A number of interesting takeaways from the game as a whole - most I'll share in the article I've just finished for Lard Magazine, which you'll have to buy :D I was, though, amused to realise I'd been being slightly lenient to the Americans in a couple of rather important places as regards firing at German positions. I don't think it would have affected the outcome of the game, but I think they'd have had to figure out how to concentrate their forces at a weak spot more to get ashore and inlands.

There's more photos for your delectation on my Twitter feed.

Saturday, 16 November 2019

For the FINAL time in 2019, Bloody Omaha

Having promised Per and his young lad M that I'd run the game for them, since they missed it at Salute, and likewise AndyM, who's missed every public showing of the game, I arranged to put it on today. Sadly, one other couldn't make it, but I will probabaly arrange another run sometime next year for him and a couple of others. We didn't quite finish - Per had a train to catch - and Andy and I are going to run the arrival of wave 3, seeing if Robert Capa makes it back to Blighty in time for his press deadline and how hard the Germans get clobbered tomorrow afternoon.

I'm not going to write a full battle report, as frankly I'm out of brain after that! (and hopefully Per has many more photos and will write a better one!) Much fun was had, many bizarre dice rolls happened, many photos were taken. For the context of many of them I suggest you check my Twitter feed (man, I have had SO many likes and retweets today), but I'll caption a few in the gallery below. A number have been cropped and adjusted to look like period shots from Robert Capa :D

Huge thanks to Per, M and Andy for playing, and to my wife for... well, not resisting the temptation to bake - those maple apple scones were a) still warm and b) amazing! And as ever to Rich and Nick for the scenario and the rules.

First dice roll of the game on the first activation. Sherman DD fires at bunker. M rolls double 6. Boom.
For an encore a bit later he rolled 5 consecutive 1s on a d6. 
Andy handling disembarkation from a Higgins Boat.... 

Managing the chaos on the beach....
...aka 'this is why all bases are clearly labelled!'

The Butcher of Omaha,

HE pins. Stonks from 4 105mms pin A LOT.

Omaha prep

Fortunately, less of the usual amount of panicked building of extra bits of terrain on Friday, except... I found a pack of Flames of War Czech Hedgehogs kicking around I'd forgotten I'd bought, so they got glued up, given a spray of Halfords black primer and then a quick dusting of rust (AP Fur Brown).

Other than that, I spent an hour and a half setting up the table and not finding four of my very small and easily losable German MG Tobruk gunners (top halves only), which was annoying.

First off, figure out which way round the tables will go. I think it is possible to get an 8'x6' board in the other way, but you'd have to go out one door and in the other to get round it :D 
Next, attempt to remember which way the boards tile. This is NOT as easy as it looks :D
Strew beach with obstacles.
No, more than that :D

Then find all the barbed wire, disentangle it and place,...
Finally, offer silent thanks to the team at the last show for helping put all the figures back in the RIGHT trays. This was SO much easier than it has been previously!

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