Tuesday, 11 October 2016

OK, time to refocus!


I have been doing quite a bit of thinking recently about my hobby and what direction to take it in. Over the last year I have collected so much stuff that I have lost my ability to focus on anything and it's time I sorted things out if I am to continue with this hobby. I have been very close to packing it all in completely, as I said to my wife, model soldiers have been part of my life for so long now that maybe it's time to do something different with my time. But the lure of WW2 gaming and in particular the Normandy campaign continues to hold my attention, and Flames of War remains the most playable set of rules I have used for years so I have decided to stick with it going forward.

On Sunday I had fully intended to get up and drive to SELWG, but instead we went off to Canterbury and had a lovely day shopping and sightseeing followed by a nice lunch washed down by a pint of Nicholson's Pale Ale in a cosy little pub opposite the Cathedral. It did me the world of good, despite being taken around several stores by my 15 year old youngest daughter including the wonderfully named 'Lush' which sells nothing but fizzing bath bombs, soaps etc and was a true sensory experience and very expensive! The day out really cleared my head.

I have recently been watching the series of videos by the Terrain Tutor on YouTube, and been thinking about how I could apply some of his methods and ideas to a 15mm Normandy layout for FoW. So I laid out the basic set up you see below  and I intend to gradually work on the scenic side of things over the next few weeks. What I'm looking for is to break up the bare board as a series on connected fields with the dreaded bocage lining the rural roads. I plan to work on the carpet tiles I'm using for this and another trip to B&Q will introduce some darker 'ploughed field' tones as I progress. I have much to do yet, but it's one aspect of the hobby I do really enjoy.  This has been very much inspired by the 'House of Hengist' blog (see right for link), where some beautiful landscapes can be found for his Flames of war games. I hope to describe the development of my table as things progress, of course everything must remain modular and interchangeable.

Where this leaves Bolt Action I'm not sure, I'll sit on it for a while and see how I feel, but no doubt that the release of version 2 with all it's errata, typos etc has really knocked my enthusiasm for the game and 15mm allows me to fight bigger tank battles on my table.

A few pictures, the basic table set up carpet tiles will be treated and toned, wood templates improved, houses given back yards and flower beds etc. US force I have chosen to represent is 2nd Armored from the Overlord book, and will start at 1675 points as listed below, I have most of whats needed for this list, just a couple of M20 scout cars and a couple more M4 Shermans to paint to complete it. I also have a German force ready to face it, this from the Open Fire list, requiring only a platoon of Panthers to complete it.

A couple of gifts from Canterbury - thanks to my daughter!













Forged in Battle Tigers.



11 comments:

  1. Very nice Lee, looking forward to seeing what you do with your table as I need to do much the same!

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    1. Cheers James. I'm going to enjoy playing with the scenics.

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  2. Nothing like a paradigm shift for getting your mojo working again... and the sensory overload in a Lush shop is definitely that! Your comments on Sharp Practice were interesting - what's your issue with them?? I would definitely encourage a quick game with Will's rules though.. no need to get into AWI, use the FIW figures on a temporary sabot type base???

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    1. Hi Steve, 'Lush' is an astonishing experience, absolutely packed with young people enthusing over the products and incredibly motivated staff, my daughter bought 4 'bits' that came to £20.00!! No wonder the business thrives.

      I'll jot down my thoughts on Sharpe Practice, but essentially the combat system for example ('fistucuffs'), is too slow for my taste, I watched a game on YouTube where a simple melee involved putting a load of dice into a pot, then adding more or removing some according to modifiers, both blue and red dice in the pot, ended up with about 20 dice. Even the guy describing the game got lost. Some parts are almost too simple others far too complex, at least for me, once a set of rules grabs my attention I will spend the time to learn them thoroughly, but SP just has has not done that.

      I will give Will's rules a try as you suggest, my figures are individually based so I can simple stand them on sabot bases for a run through.

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  3. I agree Lee. Sometimes focus and direction are required. I have so much unpainted metal from unstated never mind unfinished projects. I'm therefore foc using on WW2 1/3000 ships (Italian and German fleets), WW2 winter (German and Russian) in 6mm, doing the Austro-Hungarian WW1 army in 6mm and finishing off my Renaissance Spanish (also 6mm) and probably leave it at that. I have Napoleonic and AWI armies in 6mm which I will never finish. There are armies to complete (Ww2 Americans which I will also base up for winter as an example) but I dang see myself taking on anything new for the next few years.

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    1. Hi Phil, yes, I think I overloaded myself and spent far too much time and money on what have proved to be distractions from what I really want to do. Much of Flames of War rules is committed to memory, I can play off the play sheet mostly now.

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  4. Lee, that all looks great, terrain and minis both, so your time there was well spent. It sounds like you suffer from the same... outlook? (disease?) as I do -- the feeling that there is always something more that is required before I can lay down a game. I wish I had more spontaneity in that regard.
    But marbles are for Chinese Checkers. Real wargamers do without. I haven't seen mine for years. ;oP```
    Regards (and sincere admiration for your work),
    John

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    1. Hello John, thank you for comments, much appreciated.I'm never quite 100% happy with anything I do, wish I could just sit back and accept things more, but I'm always striving to improve the figures or the layout and it often leads to frustration, but I'm very close now with Flames of War.

      I like your blog, hope you don't mind I have added it to my list at right so I can follow it?

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  5. Sounds like the Bolt Action and most recently Sharp Practice have been a distraction from the game you really want to spent some time with at the moments (FOW). I am dealing with a similar distraction at the moment, but the fog is clearing and my gathering thoughts seem to be firming up to a definite way forward - or rather backwards as I lash several projects that have served little purpose other than to take up time, attention, money and otherwise distract.

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  6. Norm, I'm sure you are right, FOW is my game of choice and I need to stick with it and enjoy it. I think the FIW project is more a 'collection' I love owning them and they look great on display shelves but I simply can't get into Sharpe Practice. There is however just one more project that has been lurking at the back of my mind for years, a nostalgia project I guess, Fire and Fury original brigade rules in 15mm ..... maybe one day!

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  7. Lee,
    'Course I don't mind, as long as you don't mind that I don't post very often. I will endeavor to never again go 5 years between posts.
    Regards,
    John

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