Thursday, 18 April 2013

Fishing Village WIP and PRE Salute Game Anaysis.

 As you will note on the Pictures to the right the fishing village is coming on quite nicely now, still a huge amount to do of course, but you can now see the intention much more clearly. You will be able to see blobs of glue as the pictures were taken in the drying process. It will dry clear and not be noticed (I hope). The section of the beach which is deliberately left unfinished will turn into a small harbour, wait and see. I will try not to show any more of this for the time being so that when BROADSIDE comes it will be fresh, well that's the hope. I have put enough photos up to give not only the layout but the location on the board and to a lesser extent a scale. I have left out walls and boundaries because they would be so small, about 0.35 mm. That being the case I will most likely either paint or draw them onto the boards.

But that's not want to talk about today. I do want to talk about Salute. Firstly let me say I have not been able to get two of the ingredients that I would use to make my recipe of chocolate Fudge. So no free food from me this time out. It's a shame, but never mind.

But that's not what I want to talk about either. Yes I still want to talk about Salute. Or more accurately the games that are being hosted at the show.  Here's my disclaimer! I have taken all the information from "Miniature Wargames Magazine" issue 360. Not all the information is complete and if you do your own version of this analysis you will also realise that I will have miscounted. I kept getting distracted and losing my place.

Going down the games list I was struck by how many Participation games there were and that's why I did the count up. UK readers will know that there are usually at least one wargames club within reach. So playing games at shows is not as important as, for example the states. In the US because of the size of the country (so I am informed) playing games at shows is more important. A quick count-up  informed me there were about 34 demonstration games and 57 participation games. Nearly twice as many, which I found interesting. I, personally, find it easier to run a demonstration game than a participation game at shows. So I was expecting the results to be reversed with more demonstration games than participation games. Well as you already know I was wrong!

Which meant I should look a little closer at the results to determine why I was so wrong. So I broke it down by adding another parameter. How many of each type of games were run by wargames companies as opposed to clubs.  20 of the Participation games were company lead and only 10 demonstration games. This is a little out of skew because some companies (like Crooked Dice) are running more than one game but only on one game table area, while others are getting their associated clubs to run the game for them. I mean no critism by stating this  as I am sure I would be encouraging this If I ran a games company. So follow the trend and not get too caught up in the small details. In my opinion many companies are using participation games at shows in preference to Demonstration games as it gets players more closely involved. This should not be a revelation to anyone who attends the bigger shows in the UK but it is still worth stating as it introduces the question "Where will this trend lead?" Given that it would be impractical to run a large, for instance, ACW, game with hundreds of figure on the table top as a participation game and keep all the players interested for an extended period at a show with all the trader distractions and temptations. Smaller games like Saga which can yield a result with many less figures in a fraction of the time do yield themselves more open to public participation. As twice as many participation games are being put on by manufactures this year does that mean that big battle games are in decline and that skirmish games are currently on the rise from a manufactures point of view?

I also broke down the periods being played. I did this because just skimming the list there did seam to be a lot of "Steampunk" games.

Here's a rough list, again I can't be too precise because some games straddle two periods. In Order of numbers.

  • Science Fiction 21 (including 7 "Steampunk"/VSF Games)
  • Ancients 14 ( Including 8 dark age and Medieval)
  • WW2/VBCW 13
  • Fantasy 13
  • 19th Century 10 (including 5 ACW games)
  • 17th Century 5 (Including 2 Samurai games)
  • Napoleonic 3
  • Modern 3 (including horror and other similar things*)
  •  Other 2 (Snits Revenge and Those Magnificent men and their flying machines.
  • Zombies 2 (Dedicated zombie games and not horror!)
  • 16th Century 1
  • Wild West 1
  • WW1   1
If you so choose you could clump certain categories together in different ways, Horror with zombies, Wild west with 19th Century for example. There are more options of course and if/when you do the Analysis I am sure you'll do them in your own way.

I am most interested in noting what game genres are missing. In the Modern section it's mostly horror and 70's TV shows. No Afghanistan, no Falklands, no Vietnam, no Cold war battle games or Korea or Arab Israeli. If there is a ECW game on the list I must have missed it as well, which is not to say it's not there, but if it is I will have missed it.

I will draw no more conclusions before going to the show, I'll leave that to you.

I would normally post on Saturday this week, but due to the show I will leave it until Sunday. And probably do my show report on Monday. I hope you have found something of interest. Be kind to yourself and hope to blog again after the show. All the best Clint

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Town Planning

I woke this morning to the news of the bombs in Boston last night. There are no words I can use to try to explain why someone would choose to do such a thing. All I can say is that my thoughts prayers and best wishes are with the victims. As I am sure all ours are.

Before I start the town planning I had to do a couple of running repairs on the boards. Nothing major, just a bit more glue and clamped to hold it in place. Just letting you know that sometimes it does not go to plan.  Mostly it does, but just sometimes it needs to be given a little more encouragement than normal!

I have finally started the little fishing village I want on the BBIB boards for Broadside. Given the scale (1/2400th) the buildings would be really quite small. Modern buildings such as sky scrapers, shopping centres and the like would be much larger. Temples and Palaces of any period would also be larger, but as the fishing village would not need any palaces or warehouses or other buildings of that size. This being the case I went for the simplest solution. That solution was to cut triangular section plastic rod into random short lengths to represent the roofs of the cottages. If I had different triangular sections I would have used them, but as I did not and as the fishing village is not a very major part of the boards I am not concerned.

The second stage has been to add thicknesses of card (Grey board) underneath the roofs to turn them into buildings. As my Grey board is 3mm thick and quite the thickest card I currently own they have started to look a little uniform. I am sure I can overcome that by positioning and applying colour. As soon as the rain stops here I will spray them ready for painting.

As you can see to the right creating towns in this scale is not particularly challenging. This was achieved simply as I put them down to dry. Once roads/tracks and possibly gardens have been indicated I suspect it will start to look more torn like. If the weather holds I should get some more done in the next couple of days.

That's todays very brief work in progress update for the BBIB boards. Thanks for reading and I'll do my pre Salute post on Friday. Maybe my shopping list, or items I want to look at.

So until Thursday, take care and be kind to yourselves! All the best Clint.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

"My Hits don't lie!"

Firstly I want to say a big thank you to all my followers, lurkers and casual clickers who stumble upon my blog. As I type this I have had 24 970 page views. Just 30 short of 25000 which is a milestone to me. I am not going to do some give away promotion to attract more members I would rather pass on my thanks to you all who make Blogging so much fun enjoyment and yes at times frustration. Cheers Guys I really appreciate it.

I have learnt a lot from the honourable Fran and have included the picture above to introduce my recent wargames thoughts. Followers of the blog this time last year will have seen my build of an Afghanistan village. It has not been used since and that's a shame so I have been thinking of alternative uses for it. Given the architecture and the layout it could easily be used for a lot of different periods, anything from late medieval to near future. A magazine editor did suggest I use it for the 1st Anglo- Afghan war as he wanted to do a series of articles about wargaming in Afghanistan through the ages. Being honest the idea never really floated my boat so it went no further. Which knowing me will mean I will no doubt start it in 2 years time!

 Finally coming to the point the boards would work well, for some other middle eastern wargames. So recycling the Afghan boards and with reference to the picture above I intend to use Salute this year to check out the possibility of the Arab Israeli wars.
1948 has some interesting features but is perhaps a little too similar to WW2.
1956 again possible and with British and French Support gives it more variety and versatility, but the overall feel is still to similar to WW2 despite the fact that it had the first airborne helicopter assault. But one battle does not make a war.
1967 "The Six Day war" does appeal there is a variety of forces Israeli, Egyptian and Syria many of the vehicles are still WW2 vintage Syria was using Panzer Mk IV's, Egypt T34/85s and Su 100s along with more modern tanks like T55s and "Super Shermans" (used by the Israelis).
1973 "Yom Kippur War" again appeals as the Israelis start on the back foot. Weapon systems have improved. The Egyptians backed by the USSR have Sagger Anti Tank Wire Guided missiles T62s BMPs and BTR 60s as well as many of the older vehicles such as T34s. And as a war fought on two fronts has many interesting prospects from a wargaming point of view.
1980+  More up-to-date vehicles still including the Merkava the most well known Israeli tank. Is a period that is also possible as a wargames period perhaps with things like Operation Opera (The Isreali strike to destroy Iran's Nuclear facilities.)

Obviously the above has glossed over all the conflicts in a mere line or two, when any number of books have been written. So it is definitely over simplified  in the extreme. It does seem to be at present an era of wargaming that is pretty much under played at the moment and yet perfect for my Afghanistan wargames terrain. It should also be a lot less controversial.

A very quick look has highlighted the lack of figure manufacturers for these conflicts but a wealth of vehicle makers. But this as mentioned above will be something I want to look at while present at SALUTE this year.

Thanks for Reading, more on Tuesday have a great couple of days and I hope something above has caught your interest.

All the best Clint