Work in Progress Wednesday

A little bit of progress was made by members this week, we can offer up some 15mm German WW2 infantry from Stephen.

While Phil has continued with some bigger miniatures in the form of a beast and balrog for Lord of the Rings.

And last but not least this week Mark J has started painting up some WW2 Stuka’s.

See you next Wednesday.


Wars of the Roses – Battle of Towton – Battle Report

Battle number seven in our campaign was the bloody field of Towton. The size of the armies who fought this battle is often questioned but it’s clear it was a big battle. To represent this we went for a 1000 points per side and also ended up with each command split across three players. The Lancastrians were commanded by Stephen as Somerset supported by Andy as the Earl of Northumberland and Tong G as the Earl of Wiltshire. I commanded the Yorkists as the rightful King Edward IV with Tony F as Warwick and newcommer to the campaign (and rules) Pete M as Lord Falconberg.

Battle of Towton
Apart from the increase in army size the only historical event we decided to include was the weather. Neither side was allowed artillery and we rolled at the start of the battle to see which direction the strong winds were blowing. Unlike history the wind ended up blowing towards the east and as such played little or no part in the battle.

I was expecting this battle to be a straight up archery duel followed by a clash of infantry. This was reflected in my army choice and how the deployment phase went. I placed Lord Falconberg’s force of cavalry, infantry and militia archers under Pete M on the Yorkist left flank, with a similar force for Warwick under Tony F on the right. I took the main bulk of the infantry to create a strong centre.

To my surprise the Lancastrians deployed with Northumberland’s forces under Andy in the centre with an even mix of infantry and archers, while Wiltshires similar forces under Tony G on the Lancastrian left. Tony G also had some Irish Kerns. The Lancastrian right was formed by Somerset’s own command under Stephen made up entirely of cavalry, four units of Mounted Men at Arms, two Currours and two Northern Boarder Horse. The Lancastrians had also brought stakes for their archers which led me to believe they would fight a stationary battle behind their defences.

Having won the initiative I kept to the battle plan and started to advance my archers. I gave each of my other commanders orders to just hold the flanks. Not to go charging off but to use their cavalry as a threat, and keep my flanks covered as I advanced.

Following the plan Tony F pushed up the cavalry and archers, the militia billmen got left behind given their poor discipline rating.

Pete M did the same on the left flank, creating two lines, with the archers out front, but Stephen immediately began moving the Mounted Men at Arms forward. I panicked a bit at this knowing Pete’s forces where not that strong and so I moved some billmen units towards the left flank in case they were needed.

Over on the Lancastrian left Tony G was having trouble getting units to advance off the hill. This was the first stage in what would see the front of the battle twist with the Lancastrians advancing on the right but barely moving on the left.

The Lancastrians got to within striking distance and then paused, this may have been to wait for the rest of the cavalry to catch up. Pete moved some archers within range and tried taking a hasty shot, this was rewarded with a hit and Stephen giving the Mounted Men at Arms activation dice in preperation to charge.

Seeing the danger from the archers Stephen in a bold move charged in a unit of boarder horse destroying the archers completely. Pete’s respond was to send in some billmen who made short work of the light horse with their charge spent.

In the centre the Andy’s Lancastrian archers had advanced off the hill and into range of my archers beginning the archery duel. The Yorkists managed to score a few hits but were outnumbered four longbow units to four enemy longbows and two crossbows.

The Yorkists had won initiative and after much debate Pete decided the best option was to charge in first. Despite being out numbered Pete’s cavalry managed to hold in the initial fight and the follow up, causing some damage to the Lancastrians. This set the tone for the conflict of the Lancastrians failing to get any clear advantage in combat.

Out on the Lancastrian left Tony G started to advance the Kerns but then realised facing off against the Yorkist cavalry wouldn’t be in their favour. As per my instructions Tony F had not advance the cavalry too far, keeping out of range of the Lancastrian archers.

Back to the Yorkist left flank and Pete M had managed to get another cavalry unit to support the Mounted Men at Arms. Giving the men at arms a bonus dice for good measure Pete M took the fight to the Lancastrians.

In the centre my Yorkist archers had got the better of the Lancastrians. This was down to a number of factors, I sacrificed the good activation dice I rolled to ensure my archers got some good shots in (this did leave my infantry lagging behind), I’d also been able to cause some hits as the Lancastrians were getting into range. With the loss of the archers Andy started to bring up some infantry. I matched this with some Men at Arms in support.

After a hard fight Pete’s Men at Arms managed to dispatch some of Stephens cavalry. With more Men at Arms in support I still felt Pete was in danger of the flank collasping, so continued to move infantry off in support.

Up until this point the Lancastrians had made no use of their stakes. But having failed to get off the hill Tony G decided to deploy them to ensure the cavalry couldn’t threaten them. But this clearly meant Tony G was not going to advance and as such not pose a threat either.

Because the Yorkists had won the archery duel in the centre, were holding out on the left flank against the concentrated Lancastrian cavalry and with them nailing their left flank to the hill, I decided to let Tony F get into the fight, their cavalry moved to engage the Kerns.

With the casualties piling up Stephen decided to move up more cavalry to dislodge Pete’s cavalry that had been holding out for most of the battle. This was enough to finally destroy Pete’s Mounted Men at Arms. To help plug the gap Pete moved up some billmen almost destroying the Lancastrain cavalry.

The infantry I’d moved in support of the Yorkist left flank were finally in position and seeing the threat Stephen moved the Currours to get their charges in. However they would be facing two Dismounted Men at Arms and some billmen. The resulting battle saw the destruction of the Lancastrian Currours.

Some favourable dice rolling saw two of Stephens Mounted Men at Arms destroyed with the Yorkist gaps filled by more Currours and billmen.

Following a successful charge seeing both Irish Kern units destroyed by the cavalry, Tony F moved up their archers to engage with the Lancastrians, but lost a unit in the exchange.

With an abundance of threes for my activation dice I decided to just go for it and get my Men at Arms into melee with Andy’s archers and crossbows. Unfortunately for the Lancatrians, Andy’s counter attack failed utterly. Throwing three ones was probably the best indicator as to how the battle was going for the Lancastrians.

On the Yorkist right flank Tony F had continued the attack by moving onto the enemy bill men after dispatching the Kerns. The cavalry didn’t do as well as expected, infact it did aswell as the Lancastrians cavalry had been up to that point.

It was at this point that Stephens cavalry finally broke through the Yorkist left flank, but it was a real case of too little too late. The Lancastrians had reached their breaking point and all that was let was to play out the remainder of the turn.

The final blow coming from the exhausted Yorkist archers facing off against Andy’s poor Men at Arms advancing under fire.

As so ended the battle of Towton with a decisive win for the Yorkist forces.

This battle did not go as planned for either side. I’d created an army with a strong core of infantry and expected to get bogged down in a big fight in the centre. This was the first time I’d deployed a large mercenary pike unit for just that type of battle. But my archers won the archery duel in the centre and because both flanks had held out there was no threat to the centre. As to the flanks Pete getting a charge in first was a pivotal moment and kept the Lancastrians from overwhelming that flank. As to the Yorkist right flank, with no threat coming from the Lancastrians this allowed some breathing space, the Yorkists were able to see how the centre and left flank faired before committing any additional forces to those battles.

I don’t know what the Lancastrian battle plan was but by putting all the cavalry on one flank that meant it became a make or break. There were no archers or infantry as back up should the cavalry fail to make a break through, which is exactly what happened. The Lancastrian centre and left flank were also unclear, having declared they had stakes seemed to announce they would stay put and expect the Yorkists to advance. But the Centre moved off the hill and engaged in the archery duel giving the advantage to the Yorkists and never deployed their stakes. While the left flank struggled to get moving and then achored themselves to the hill giving the Yorkist the choice of ignoring them and even redistribute any uncommitted units.

The Yorkists are now 5-1 up in the campaign after 7 battles (one was a draw), with 6 battles remaining. The Lancastrians must win at our next battle of Hedgeley Moor. Not a great place to be given historically most of the Lancastrian forces fled from the field before the main fighting started.

Yorkist Loses
2 Units of Militia Longbows (6 points)
1 Unit of Longbows (3 points)
1 Unit of Mounted Men at Arms (4 points)
2 Units of Currours (8 points)
Total loses 21 points (Army break point 58)

Lancastrian Loses
2 Units of Currours (8 points)
3 Units of Mounted Men at Arms (12 points)
1 Unit of Billmen (4 points)
5 Units of Longbows (15 points)
2 Units of Border Horse (6 points)
2 Units of Kerns (6 points)
2 Units of Crossbows (6 points)
Total loses 57 points (Army break point 51)

Yorkist Victory

Work in Progress Wednesday

After what seems like a very long break I’m back with the Work in Progress Wednesday post.

This week we start with Tony F who has been working on a crew for Stargrave. Above he has started on a Security detail, all from the Stargrave troops set.

Next up a Medic and hacker from the plastic Stargrave crew set .

Any finally First mate, captain, faithful robo-hound and robot navigator. The captain and dog are metal Diehard Miniatures, the other two are 3D prints.

Now we have some 6mm French from Mark H. It’s been a while for Mark to get some paint onto miniatures but we are pleased to see some progress.

Although given the size of his 6mm Napoleonic armies to date, I do wonder why Mark needs yet more!

And to prove a point this was a show game Mark put on way back in 2009!

That’s it for this week. See you at the next one.

What a Tanker – Saturday 09/07/2022

One of our newer members, Eric, reports on a What a (Grav) Tanker game run by Marcus at a recent meeting.

Today I was fortunate enough to play a modified game of “What A Tanker“. Rather than use the original rules published by “Two Fat Lardies”, my opponent and host, Marcus, had adapted them for a sci-fi setting. I was advised from the off that it was a “beer and pretzels” game aimed at having fun and rolling dice rather than anything with any complex hardcore mechanics and depth. Marcus explained that what we were playing was still very much a work in progress and had only ever played in solo mode. There were kinks to iron out and rules to be tweaked, but what he has done with it so far worked well. I get the impression that it’s not meant to have the scope of some small-scale future skirmish games (e.g., Hammers Slammers) – troops and heavy weapons weren’t present in our game. Maybe that is something that will appear later as Marcus works on the rules.

The original Lardies concept is a one-to-one ratio with multiple players fielding one tank each, and in an ideal situation you would have more than two players. However, Marcus’ adaption allows for two players with an increased unit count and the ability to scale up/down players/tanks if desired. As this was essentially a play test, we had several tanks each to command and the rules would be fluid and subject to change as we went.

We used 15mm tanks – the main battle tanks (MTB’s) were a combination of Old Crow miniatures tank chassis with Brigade Models Rapier MBT turrets.

The wheeled, light tanks were Ground Zero Games Paladin II models.

To add to the atmosphere (and create interruption for lines of site), there was some truly brilliant scratch-built scenery supported by alien flora, which looked suspiciously like plastic home aquarium plants (something that was used in Marcus’ sub aqua game). You can have a house point if you can figure out what the basis is for the 15mm buildings.

The rules were quite simple and easy to pick up. Each tank generates a dice pool which in turn is used to generate power that is allocated to different functions – movement, firing, shields, repair and so forth. This provided a level of complexity which meant that it wasn’t just rolling dice and saying “BANG! Your tank’s been destroyed”. Management of the power available to you is an important factor in making effective use of your tank and how it operates. The dice rolled at the beginning of each activation also determine what actions you can perform, with a wildcard number being available (should you generate one) which could be used to facilitate any one of the other functions. For example, you might generate the numbers needed to acquire a target, aim, fire and reload, but not necessarily move. Clearly this is a hindrance if your enemy has snuck behind that abandoned generator shed with the annoying graffiti, and you can’t get a clear shot. This is where the wildcard can be used to perform any of the prescribed game actions. At this point, you would logically trade it for the opportunity to move your tank to get a better shot. The same can be said for any of the other actions that you might need to perform. The wildcard number can also be used to repair non-critical damage.

Unlike other games that rely on a move -> shoot -> melee formula that you don’t normally deviate from, you can issue the commands for your tank in any order you choose. Instead of moving, aiming and firing, if you’ve already acquired your target and have line of sight, you could fire, then move away and reload. This of course, all depends on the previously mentioned power that you have generated via the dice pool and how you have pre-assigned it to different functions.

Let battle commence!, Game 1.

For our game, I was given command of three Paladin II wheeled units whereas Marcus had two heavy/MBT’s. Whilst the heavier tanks looked like they had the edge, we were in fact quite well balanced by me having three units to his two.

We deployed either end of the table with the intention of getting close enough to acquire each other as a target and then aim and fire. All the time, lines of sight were hampered by the local vegetation and buildings, making it tricky to get a bead on one other without exposing ourselves to a barrage of shells/lasers/railgun rounds.

After a while of getting used to the rules (for my benefit) we managed to engage in combat with one of my Paladins taking a couple of hits from Marcus’ MBT. Damage comes in two forms: critical and non-critical. Both types strip you of dice from your pool. If you were to have five dice in your pool and you took two hits; on your next activation, the dice pool would be reduced from five to three. Critical hits can’t be recovered from; these represent non repairable damage, but non-critical ones can. In your next activation round if you generate a wildcard result, it can be traded to remove one non-critical hit, thus restoring a die to your pool. Without those dice it’s a lot tougher to generate the actions you want and provide the power for them each turn.

After several turns of skulking through the undergrowth I finally managed to get into position and land a good couple of solid hits on one of Marcus’s MBT’s. He fired on me but with power management points applied to the shields, I successfully negated any damage he would have caused. The subsequent turn, I trundled into a kill position and finished off the already crippled MBT. This awarded me a special card which could be used in that game or saved and carried over to a future skirmish.

As it looked like our game would turn into one of cat and mouse between Marcus’s remaining tank and my Paladins, we decided to end it there.

The red Paladin takes down Marcus’ MBT, drawing the first game to a close

As there was still time on the clock, we decided to play a second game.

Game Two

This time Steve and James joined me, so we had a Paladin each, while Tony joined Marcus controlling one of the two MBT’s. The scenery set up remained the same and the deployment as was as the last time, with both teams starting at opposite ends.

James took the left flank, Steve, the right and I went down the middle. Tony had managed to work his MBT into a spot where he could snipe on me and stripped away a couple of dice worth of power which made my next activation extremely difficult. It wasn’t long into the game though before we had our first casualty, me! Trying to shield myself next to a building did no good and a second round of firing from Tony reduced my tank to a burning wreck without me even getting a shot off.

Smoke billows from the blue Paladin after receiving catastrophic damage from Tony’s MBT

Meanwhile Steve moved up the right-hand side of the table exchanging fire with Marcus whilst James tried to outmanoeuvre Tony. Steve took some hits which would have meant he was seriously compromised but managed to recover all the damage he had suffered (including any critical hits) with the help of a special play card. Unfortunately, he subsequently succumbed to fire from Marcus, meaning the MBT’s were in a superior position and dominating the battle, leaving just James to try and slug it out with the two MBT’s on his own.

Steve attempts to take the right flank – Marcus’ MBT is just out of shot

James, still on the flank, his Paladin now damaged and functioning at 80% capacity, managed to get into position which gave him a clear shot at Tony. A hail of fire destroyed Tony’s tank, while Marcus looked for a firing solution against James. Marcus fired, but the shells glanced harmlessly off the Paladin thanks to some wise use of power management to his shield. With only Marcus left and in a clear line of site, James reciprocated Marcus’ salvo after winning initiative. The hits were enough to cause some non-critical damage but with the help of a special play card earned from taking out Tony, James’ shells found a chink in Marcus’s armour and truly ended the battle with a bang and winning the game.

James’ Paladin makes its way up the left flank

I’ve deliberately neglected to include some of the rules that were used – for brevity’s sake and because it’s Marcus’ project it’s undoubtedly subject to change.

I can say in all honesty, I look forward to Marcus getting the rules fully realised and written up as this makes for a great pick-up game, with more subtle complexities than would first appear. With the planned revisions that he has this has all the markings of being a great little game. It’s certainly made me want to buy some 15 mm sci-fi tanks now!

Work in Progress Wednesday

I think the warmer weather is starting to compete with the various projects members are working on. This week Marcus has come to the rescue with a glimpse of some things he’s been working on (should probably call this Work in Progress Marcus!)

Above we have some Copplestone Casting Future Warriors in winter camo.

Next up Marcus has dug out some old Tin Soldier 15mm fantasy miniatures to encourage his children into painting up some miniatures.

And finally from Marcus this week are some Starschlock miniatures, a mix of Astroguard and Dronetrooper figures. Will be interesting to see what colour scheme these have.

That’s it from, well, Marcus. We will have to see if the pending heatwave here in the UK puts pay to the next WIP Wednesday.

Work in Progress Wednesday

Just a few offerings for this week. I’m blaming the heat. It certainly saps creativity and painting.

Above we have some space fighters from Stephen (really need to find out who makes these). And below Stephen has been creating more Loot tokens for Stargrave.

Physical and Data Loot ready to be salvaged

I’ve also been creating Loot tokens for Stargrave only I went with some blank indented dice and some free sci-fi textures to turn them into Loots tokens.

The dice were undercoated first before the textures added, then some dry brushing to get them blended in.

After about 10 years of sitting in a box I also managed to stick some previously purchased plastic aquarium plants into the start of a jungle.

Multiple plastic plants stuck together with the hot glue gun

And finally this week Andy has made a bit more progress on his medieval Sergeants.

The heat is definitely slowing down painting

See you next week for the next glimpse of our club activity.


Work in Progress Wednesday

It’s Wednesday and we have a few offering on club member progress.

Above and below we have some miniatures painted by John, this time some Cultists for a game of Perilous Tales.

Nice subtle colour scheme on the cultists

Next more progress from Andy on his Dark Age forces, here we have some more Saxon Thegns.

Another 4 Saxon Thegns out of a unit of 16

And lastly this week Marcus has added some paint and plant life to his Snap Dragon scenery.

The bunker in the woods

See you next week.

Richie Pays a visit

John reports on A Border Reiver Skirmish using En Garde Rules…


I’d always been interested in this period since before I started wargaming. Picking up  George MacDonald Fraser’s book ‘The Steel Bonnets’ fired my enthusiasm , I started with modified Redoubt figures and scratch built some buildings and it became a club game for 2002. I sold off figures and buildings to purchase a collection of Outpost figures which promptly gathered dust. The advent of Osprey En Garde rules and finding I have links to two Border Reiver families sparked the flame again.

The Border Reivers occupy a unique position in British history. Before the Union of England and Scotland, the area between the nations was effectively a buffer state with it’s own set of rules. Over population and depredations from either nation took its toll. Cattle rustling, kidnap and blackmail ( in its original sense a protection racket) became commonplace. Fortified buildings, the simplest being a two storey Bastle house, of which there are more than 900, provided some shelter from Reivers who became very skilled in their craft and earned them the reputation of being the finest light horsemen in Europe.

En Garde is an Osprey blue book set of rules for small scale swashbuckling skirmish games for about 20 figures maximum. Each figure has a stat line which provides its rank which can range from peasant to Headman. The higher the rank, the more capable the figure. Each figure has a combat pool (cp) for hand to hand combat. When this takes place, the figure is allocated a number of chits for either attack or defence, which allow the figure to use ploys such as riposte and feint to give a sword fight feel. The higher the cp value, the more attack or defence options for the figure. Each figure has an initiative value which is a dice roll modifier to determine which gets the first hit in. Fight and Shoot stats give modifiers to the attack and AR is an armour protection value. Finally, higher ranked figures can add attributes for example beguiling means that an opponent is less likely to attack the figure, afraid of the consequences. All these features allow the player to develop the character of a figure. A bit like role playing.

The Game

Set up

This scenario is set in the late 16th century Border between Scotland and England about 8 miles east of Carlisle. Richie Graham of Brackenhill (Brackenhill Tower still stands and is a successful self-catering holiday retreat) runs a successful blackmail business. The Bells of Gilsland have failed to make payment and Richie and the blackmailers decide to teach them a lesson. Richie sits in the top three all-time Border bad guys and he’s accompanied by Thomas ‘The Merchant’ Hetherington (possible distant relative of the author) who collected blackmail payments on his behalf.




Bastle house with Barnkin wall containing cattle in the centre of a 3’ square board. One boulder close to the bastle, two patches of Heather in the corners and a Long house with fencing containing sheep.

Time and Weather

Weather – a 6 is rolled which is wind and rain. Line of sight reduced to 24” and all shooting has a -1 modifier

Time of day – a 3 is rolled which is dusk. Line of sight reduced to 18”

Typical conditions for a border raid!

The Bell reivers, Willie Red Cloak’s wife and young son (both classed as peasant) are in the Bastle. Two peasants are in the Long House

Move 1

The Bells win initiative and Jamie fires through the window at the leading Graham. He rolls 4 and 2. +1 for skill, – 1 for weather, – 1 >12” away. Gives a score of 5. He needs more than 6 to cause a wound so it’s a fail. Willie runs to take cover behind the Barnkin wall. There is not enough room for all the gang so Richie does an ordered run into the cover provided by the heather.

Move 2

The Bells win initiative. Jamie concentrates his aim on the Barnkin gate. Bell’s son is sent to light the warning beacon beside the bastle. Richie orders a group move and the Grahams run around the Barnkin wall.

Move 3

The Grahams win the initiative and continue to run around the Barnkin wall. As they pass the gate, Jamie Bell fires at Wat. He rolls a 9 +1 for aimed shot, +1 for skill – 1 for weather -1 for the gate – 2 for distance gives a score of 7 A hit is scored but the armour saves Wat.

Move 4

The son is in serious danger but the Bells win the initiative. The boy gets back inside the Bastle and the drawbar is slammed shut behind the door. The Grahams prepare “Fire to the Door”. They are going to smoke out the Bells, this tactic was known as “scum fishing”.

Move 5

The Bells win initiative and a group move is ordered for the armed Bells to descend the ladder into the Barnkin and take on the Grahams directly. This is overheard by the Grahams and a group move is ordered to the gate with Jock of the Peartree (crack shot) in the lead. He waits by the gate looking for a target. Thomas (The Merchant Hetherington) waits by the ground floor door to make sure the smoke builds up. Screams from inside the Bastle alert the two peasants in the long house who move, just out of view towards Thomas.

Move 6

The Bells win initiative and move towards the Barnkin gate. Its slippery, the cows are in the way so only a short move is possible. Jock of the Peartree fires his latch and rolls a double 1! The latch bolt is stuck and Jock will have to spend a move clearing the latch to fire again. Wat attempts to climb over the wall but fails his dexterity roll and falls, grazing his shins.

Move 7

The Grahams win initiative. Archie fires at Davy. He rolls 6 and 6  = 12 – 1 for weather = 11 – 6 = 5 a hit has been scored. Davy’s armour is 1 plus 1 for the shield = 2. Final wound score = 3. A light wound. Willie Bell opens the gate and moves into combat with Wat.  Willie’s combat pool is DDDA (where D is defence, A is attack) in Case Richie attacks. He rolls 8 + 4 for his fight ability = 12. Wat defends his combat pool is DD. He rolls 6 + 2 for his fight ability. A wound is caused to Wat but his armour saves 2 and it’s a light wound. Richie attacks Willie with a combat pool of ADDD He rolls 10 + 4 fight ability gives a total score of 14. Willie rolls a 5 from 2 dice attempting a parry and using one of his remaining defence chits,  +4 for fight ability = 9. A difference of 5. Willie has an armour of 3 giving a wound score of 2 a light wound. There are no more attack chits available so combat ends for the turn.

Move 8

The Grahams win initiative. Jock fires at Davy. He rolls 11 + 2 for sharpshooter -1 for weather -6 = 6. A wound has been caused. Davy has an armour of 2 which gives a final score of 4 a Grievous wound. When this is combined with the light wound he is killed. Because Willie has a light wound, Richie has the initiative and launches an attack and goes for the subdue option. If he can kidnap Willie Bell, He could get a ransom and the outstanding blackmail payments. Willie uses his Weapon Master attribute to attempt a riposte.

On two dice Richie rolls 7, not great. Willie only rolls 1, a difference of 6. Willie already has a light wound so his combat factor is reduced to 3 a difference of 7. A subdue attack is a -1 modifier and Willies armour is 3. A final score of 3 another light wound. Two light wounds become one grievous wound and Willie is subdued.

It looks grim for the Bells now. Ritchie has his dagger at Willie’s throat and a retreat would be covered by the two latchmen. Meanwhile at the Bastle door, Thomas the Merchant is fighting off the two farm hands. His combat pool is ADD He attacks one of the farm hands whose combat pool is D. He rolls 8 with two dice plus a combat factor of 3 = 11. The Farmhand rolls 10 with two dice but with no armour, a hit is scored. The farmhand is stunned. The second farmhand attacks He rolls 5 from two dice but Thomas only manages 2 from two dice. His fight skill of 3 saves the day and as there are no attack chits left combat ends for the turn.

The Bells now need to take a morale test they need to roll under 7 on a modified roll of two dice. They roll 3 and pass.

Move 9

The initiative roll is tied but the Grahams have a higher initiative leader now so win the initiative. Thomas goes on the offensive with AAA in his combat pool against the farmhands. He attacks the unwounded farmhand and rolls 11 The Farmhand Combat pool D rolls 4 from two dice and dies. Thomas then attacks the remaining farmhand who is already wounded. Thomas rolls 5 + 3 for fight = 8. The farmhand rolls 6 – 1 fight value for already wounded. It’s a second light wound and this now becomes grievous.

It’s all over and the Grahams win the day. It’s going to be a long hard winter for the Bells!

We’ve played a few games at the club and it’s a game I’m keen to bring back once we are allowed to meet again. I’m keen to run a mini campaign involving two feuding families a group of outlaws known as ‘Mad Meg’s Bairns’ and the Hebburn garrison (complete with sleuth hounds).

The Grain Mill

We’ve already seen snippets of John’s Grain Mill scratchbuild, but now we can see how John created this impressive piece of terrain.

All the buildings I’ve made so far have been quite generic but couldn’t resist this build. It’s quite an imposing structure measuring 35 cm Long and 25cm high and 14cm wide excluding stairway and ramp. In order to protect the model for transit and storing it had to fit into a shoebox. Here’s how I went about making something like this.

Step 1 Detailed plan
I spent a couple of evenings drawing up a plan of the building on A3 paper. I looked at as many photographs as possible of this particular structure and learned something about it’s function to help with the design and build. The tall section is a Grain Elevator. A bucket elevator carries grain from ground level to the top of the elevator where it is discharged into a silo contained within this structure. The horizontal gantry contains milling equipment and three discharge hoppers are suspended underneath. On the other side of the building is a ramp. At the end of the ramp, grain is dropped into the bucket elevator feed.
For dimensions, I used the assumption that door opening heights would be 7 ft and width 3 ft. I used 5mm to a foot so that gave me the dimensions of this item then worked out the height and length proportions based on that. So the building worked out at 70ft long x 50ft high and 28ft wide. As I drew up the plan, I rechecked against the photos to make sure everything looked in proportion and decided that there would be four stages to the build :- Stairway, Gantry, Elevator and ramp. I thought the stairway would be the most difficult so decided to start on this.

I used the same method as in the office build to start with so glued together 2 cm x 1cm pieces of foamcore to make the steps. The maximum height being determined by the height of the shoebox. I added sides from mounting board to correct any warping then added steps from lolly sticks making sure some were damaged.

I made the landing wide enough for a 28mm figure base as I thought this would make a suitable sniper position. The supports I made from wood strip rather than replicate the flimsy metal supports on the original to make sure the stairway was robust enough for the table top. I added bannister rail supports from matchsticks and then the rail and surround at the top of the stairwell from mounting board which I also used for the base.

With confidence high I turned my attention to the gantry (which turned out to be the most difficult part of the build). I built the wooden structure from foamcore clad with cereal packet cardboard strips, lining the window openings with the same, then adding cut down matchsticks for the window frame parts. The length of the gantry would match the width of the shoebox to fit in.

The hopper assembly was cut from cereal box cardboard glued to 2 pieces of foamcore. This was then glued to the base of the Gantry

The next task was to build the supports for the gantry. I decided to replicate metal girders for this so I made H section girders from 40 thou plastic card. In order to fit in the shoe box, the supports would have to be detachable so I made sockets on the underside of the gantry and on the base. These were a snug push fit. I then added cross struts to provide additional strength. I needed two goes to get the base right and the small ‘turret’ would have to be detachable for the structure to fit in the shoebox. I used Hobbycraft corrugated foam for the asbestos roof.

This was constructed using foamcore clad with corrugated foam but provided a few problems so wasn’t straightforward. To fit in the shoe box, the top section had to be made separately and had to fit inside the gantry, fitting over posts on the lower section of the elevator when in use. There are also two ‘wings’ at the base of the elevator which were constructed separately and slot into the side of the elevator when in use and are stored inside the elevator when packed away.

Elevator under construction showing one of the wings. The top section fits inside the gantry for storage.

This was the simplest part of the build which I nearly missed as it’s so overgrown on the photographs. I made it in 3 sections. The start of the ramp was from mounting board covered in fine sand painted to represent concrete. The middle section was constructed from plasticard as it’s a metal structure. The third part appears from a video clip to be metal and wood. I made this from foamcore and added card planking.

I used clear plastic from food packaging for this. I taped the plastic to my cutting board to cut out pieces of plastic to fit the window recesses. I marked out where the vertical bars would be and then cut the windows to show broken panes before gluing the plastic strips to the rear face of the vertical bars using superglue

Painting and finishing.
Wood – Wilko Nutmeg Spice, then black acrylic wash, drybrush Wilko Mineral Stone and then a light white drybrush. I then used a black wash to make sure the planking was picked out.
Metal – Black acrylic and then a succession of dry brushing, dark brown, red brown and then yellow. (All plastic parts primed in grey)
Asbestos roofing – Primed grey first then Homebase Grey Fox then a succession of black and brown washes, finishing with a drybrush across the ribs of Homebase Silver Cloud.
Concrete – Grey, dry brushed white.
Earth – Red brown, dry brushed pale grey.
I then applied static grass where appropriate and the project was complete.

This building is going to be an impossing sight on the tabletop