I Have a Blog and I’m Not Afraid to Use It

Here’s an almost completely useless, yet absurdly long, post for you all.

On or around the new year, I wrote about 2014 being the year of finishing projects, and today I took some steps in that direction. Way back when, I had planned to create a terrain board for the TooFatLardies scenario from I Ain’t Been Shot Mum called “Action at Galmanche.”

“Action at Galmache” takes place in Normandy, July 8, 1944, as a part of Operation Charnwood and the British and Canadian attack on Caen. The terrain is farmland, consisting mainly of orchards, although there’s a smattering of cultivated land, as well (currently represented by a brown blotch at the upper right of the first photo).

Forces consist of a couple troops of Shermans and an infantry company on the British side, and a company of SS Panzergrenadiers and a PAK40 on the German side. No STuGs, though they feature prominently in my photographs.

Anyway, I had gotten to the point where the terrain board was flocked, but stalled out due to school and indecision on how to represent bocage at 1/285. Well, I cheaped out and just spent a couple hours hot-gluing clump foilage directly to the terrain board. It will work, even if it doesn’t really look like bocage.

My trees, which were created for 15mm ACW really don’t work as an orchard. Unless maybe it was an orchard of gargantuan Pecan trees. Which I’m quite certain they historically weren’t. However, in the interest of expediency, the action will take place in what looks like a particularly well ordered and sparse antediluvian forest. I actually have a couple more bags of “We Honest” Chinese trees that should work at this scale, but I’m not sure I can muster the energy to fix them up, at this particular point in time.

The whole thing fits on my drafting table

The whole thing fits on my drafting table

Those gleaming silver buildings are from GHQ, and just arrived yesterday. They’ll be primed and painted just as soon as I can clear my table of some ACW stuff I’ve been working on. Like all things GHQ, they’re just little gems of wargaming perfection. Or almost perfection. There’s some pretty bad mold slippage in a couple of the buildings. Which might bother someone who is more discriminating than me.

I would (and probably will) like to put a bit more time into making this board look like a real place, as I’ve moved away from the idea of doing terrain boards (lack of space, lack of flexibility, lack of time) and probably won’t have the chance, again.  I need to paint a few Sherman tanks, and print up the cards I created for the scenario, plant some crops in the corner of the board, and then this project should be ready to roll.

I plan to use the whole setup as a way to introduce people to historical miniatures wargaming. I mean, nothing’s cooler than these little bitty tanks. The sheer miniatureness of it is compelling, somehow.

Stugs advance down the road from the manor house.

Stugs advance down the road from the manor house.

I was so mad this shot was out of focus that I decided to use it anyway.

I was so mad this shot was out of focus that I decided to use it anyway.

This orchard holds death!

This orchard holds death!

Oh, all miniatures are GHQ except for the infantry, which are the wonderfully bobbleheaded Adler figures. I really do like them!

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  • General Whiskers  On 01/25/2014 at 4:24 pm

    Dammit Sir, you have set me a challenge. I am tempted to call you out. My second suggests craft knives as the weapon of choice.

  • arkiegamer  On 01/25/2014 at 4:29 pm

    Box cutter, or X-acto, sir?!

    • General Whiskers  On 01/25/2014 at 4:39 pm

      X-acto by preference. I have not heard of boxcutter this side of the great water. Hrrmph! Damned colonials and their unconventional weapons.

      I could offer a choice from my boxed set of knives from Lidl. (Cut price German supermarket with branches throughout Europe)

      Would Iceland be a mutually convenient location for the duel? :-)

      Regards Paul This e-mail is intended for the addressee(s) only, and not for random employees of the United Kingdom or United States governments, or of Google.


      • arkiegamer  On 01/25/2014 at 5:08 pm

        I have never before heard Iceland described as convenient, but I see that you are a man of discretion when it comes to craft knives.

      • arkiegamer  On 01/25/2014 at 7:04 pm

        Oh, and sorry to be rude-it was unintentional. Nice to meet you, Paul. I’m Tim.

  • tinpotrevolutionary  On 01/26/2014 at 12:09 pm

    Excellent work Mr Arkie! Can’t wait to see it all finished up! I played this particular scenario with a friend recently (Don’t tell anybody, but his board wasn’t as nice as yours)

    Also nice to see a fellow gamer coming somewhere near to finishing a project, a rare thing to be sure! ;)

    • arkiegamer  On 01/26/2014 at 12:22 pm

      Thank you, my bass-playing brush-master friend. How did you like the scenario? Who won, and did you find it to be fairly balanced?

      I found an old Lard Island blog post where they were developing the scenario, and at that time the Germans got a platoon of PZIV’s as late reinforcements for a counterattack. I’m thinking about reintroducing that element, as I think newbies would enjoy pushing the armor around the table.

      As far as finishing projects, I’ve decided I should start substituting the phrase ‘playable state’ instead.

      • tinpotrevolutionary  On 01/26/2014 at 12:52 pm

        The first time we played (we had to two goes in the end) I put my attacking forces on blinds and proceeded to watch 5 or 6 turns go by before I got a chance to do anything as the Germans have all their troops on the table and there for all their cards in the deck against my one ‘Blinds’ card… very frustrating!

        After my friend had spotted most of my units, I made a good account of myself, using the tanks to root the Jerries out of the buildings in the Eastern side of the village and then ran out of gaming time!!?

        The second time I started out with no blinds and was able to attack much quicker only to be bogged-down on the edge of the northern side of the village under heavy fire.

        In regards to reinforcements I couldn’t be sure as I never cleared the village and lost a lot of troops but few tanks. Maybe it’s something that you could keep in your back pocket if things go too badly for the defender. It would be a nice surprise if all is going to hell only to find the cavalry arrive at the last minute!

        I do like the way IABSM allows tanks to be used as they would have been, instead of simply saying that they have to move around as platoons all the time.

      • arkiegamer  On 01/26/2014 at 1:53 pm

        Interesting. The defender can, effectively, use terrain as blinds, without placing any blind markers or figures. This keeps the attacker guessing, and opens up the possibility of ambush, surprise, and other nasty things. It never occurred to me that a defender might deploy all of his forces in order to ‘stack the deck’ against the offense’s single blinds card. That WOULD be frustrating to the poor guy with one card in the deck.

        I like your idea about keeping the PZIVs as an option-I’ll probably be running this as a referee more often than playing, so that would work quite nicely.

        Thanks for the information!

      • tinpotrevolutionary  On 01/26/2014 at 2:23 pm

        Your most welcome, I’m sure whoever has a go will enjoy playing on such a lovely battlefield.

      • arkiegamer  On 01/26/2014 at 2:51 pm

        Kind of you to say so.

  • itineranthobbyist  On 01/26/2014 at 9:25 pm

    I recently played this scenario out using Blitzkrieg Commander and had a great time. Your table looks awesome – so much more natural than mine.

    • arkiegamer  On 01/27/2014 at 8:37 am

      I found your blog and read your AAR of December. Now I’m really looking forward to getting this scenario to the table!

      Your scenery looks fine, to me-most importantly, you’re playing games with it! The only suggestion I might have to tie things together and make them look more ‘natural’ would be to limit your color palette to a more narrow range. An easy way to do this would be _light_ application of a common mixture of flock to all of the ground and vegetation. I bet this would tie all the various shades of green together, and make things look like a part of a whole.

      Or it might ruin everything. :)

      I’m going to watch your videos when I get the opportunity. Thanks for commenting and giving some feedback on the scenario.

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