In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Quar Terrain

To further increase the First World War theme for the Quar,  I obviously need barbed wire sections.

After weeks of looking at how-to videos, pondering,  planning, and over thinking, I decided at 9 PM last Sunday night to quit fucking about, and just do it! and started making barbed wire sections. 

I laid out sixteen 3"×1.5" bases on a piece of fiber board paneling. Cut them out with a knife and steel ruler, beveled the edges, and drilled holes with an electric drill. 

By bedtime at 10, I had this:

I cracked on with the first eight to learn as I went. After gluing in all the posts, sand was glued on, and things were let to dry until Wednesday:

A spray of Tremclad Leather Brown and then dry brushing craft acrylic Cashmere Tan and Vallejo Grey Green. Posts were dry brushed craft acrylic Slate Grey.

This is the same palette I used for the trenches, to keep things visually consistent. 

The posts then got some brown ink.

Then flocking. You can vary the amount of flock for more tortured landscapes.

Then it was stringing wire. No glue. I'm just twisting lengths of screen window mesh wire around the posts. A couple of feet for each section, so there were at least two, and sometimes three strands between each post.

I then hit the wire with some brown ink to make it look rusty.

While inking this section I realized the wire was a bit thin, and added some more to thicken it up with more strands.

I also decided to make some scatter terrain featuring craters and broken wire while I'm in the zone.

The craters are formed with a bead of Gorilla Glue and sand.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Getting Blinged Up

A milestone last night as I was presented with my Canada Decoration for 12 years service.

This is the least of all Armed Forces decorations, jokingly referred to as the award for "12 years undiscovered crime."

But for CIC officers it is 12 years of evenings, weekends, vacation time. Unlike Primary Reserve, we are expected to work more than our alloted 25 days pay per year. I always tell new officers that with prep time on lessons, and planning activities, they should expect to work twice that.

And when you see a bright young person flourish, and tell you what a positive influence you were on their life, it's worth it.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Quar Return!

"Parade! Parade AAAAten-SHUN!"   Yawdryl Vaark spun on his heels as the company of ryhflers banged to attention, boots and ryhfle butts crunching on the gravel. He saluted Caerten Bleg smartly.

"B Company, 95th Light Infantry ready for inspection, Sir!"

Bleg smiled. "Excellent. I'm sure even the new ryhflers will be up to standard."

Vaark spun about. "Cump'nee! Prepare for inspection, PREEEE-sen' 'harms!"

Boots crunched again. Hands slapped stocks and weapons were raised to a neat 45 degree angle with bolts pulled back to reveal hopefully clean, oiled breeches.

Vaark walked beside Bleg, casting critical eyes on the soldiers. The ryhflers casting furtive, nervous glances at them as they passed, for much depended upon this inspection. Any fault found could bring the Caerten's wrath down upon all of them. If Bleg were in a bad mood, a bit of dirt could cancel their entire weekend pass.

"Podwyn, how are you today?" Bleg asked the company's newest, youngest, ryhfler as he peered down the barrel of a Bogen. "Just grand, sir. Never 'appier." Bleg examined the open breech. "What's this? Lint from the cleaning flannel caught in your breech!"

Podwyn's snout drooped. "Sorry sir...."

Vaark sighed. Everyone tensed, expecting the worst.

"You'll be sorry when you're being overrun and your Bogen jams, won't you?"

"Yes sir...." Podwyn's snout drooped lower.

"And then poor Yawdryl Vaark here will be killed trying to save you and your dirty ryhfle. Is that what you want, young quar? Hmmmm?"

Podwyn crumpled under Bleg's icy glare. "N-n-no, sir!"

"Right, well, I'm feeling magnanimous today after  the Smyrnol complimented me about the company's training this week over a glass of his rather excellent port. Clean it again and show it to Yawdryl Vaark after parade. Then you can join your comrades for leave."

The company visibly relaxed.

The rest of the inspection went quickly after that. Caerten Bleg marched away humming a tune, eager to get on with his weekend plans, which involved a bottle of champagne and some chorus girls. Yawdryl Vaark returned to the front of the formation. 

"Cump'nee! Stan' hat EEZ!" He raised his clip board. "Right, stand easy and listen up! Weekend Safety Briefing."

Groans from the ranks.

"The Termite Box is off limits to Other Ranks this weekend." Louder groans. Vaark peered over the top of his clip board. "Shut it! Not like you mob could afford to even look at the menu there!" He cleared his throat and continued. "Right, let's see. Troops are to avoid confrontations with the local populace and to not buy any dodgy drinks being sold from the backs of farm wagons. A Company had three ryhflers go blind last week from drinking poisoned hootch." 

"Sounds like my Uncle Smeg's homebrew, that." Guffaws.

Vaark ignored the comedian. "Right. Have fun. Be safe. Remember there's Partisans and Spies about, so don't go off on your own. Be back to barracks ready to get back to work in 48 hours." He dropped his clip board to his side and straightened up. "Cump'nee! Cump'nee AAAten-shun! Cump'nee DISSSS-missed!" Dsicplined crunching and banging was quickly followed by happy chatter as the formation dissolved into a mob of quar eager to stow their weapons, grab their wallets and head into the delights of the town.

Kiss me goodnight Yawdryl Major!
Tuck me in my little wooden nest,
and don't forget to wake me in the morning...

The band of comrades eventually pitched up in front of Madam Maeb's Beetle Buffet in a cloud of laughter. If the large brass firefly, with it's abdomen lit up yellow, wasn't already a hint, the prominently posted Certificate from the Medical Officer declaring the establishment Fit for Use, was clear indication that there were more delights inside than just food.

"This looks like a right yin, eh?" Nob said and led the charge through the doors.

"Well chosen china!" Derval looked around approvingly. A small band played lively music in the corner. Some ryhflers from other companies were singing along. Some were dancing with local girls. Beside the bar was a buffet. A sweating cook was just dumping some fried beetles onto a platter. "Might spend the rest of muh leave here!"

A matronly looking female guarded the entrance. "Hello luvs. That'll be a crown cover charge each for the buffet."

They groaned. "Tut now. The buffet is all you can eat. Beer is 2 an' 6 and it's 'alf a crown for 'alf an hour."

"I'm no sure I'd last half an hour! Will she give change?" Nob laughed.

"Half an hour for what?" Podwyn asked. He'd clearly been distracted by the smell of the fried beetles.

"Never you mind, Pod my kit." Dervel chuckled as he dug in a pocket for a crown.

Podwyn finished off his third bowl of fried beetles. "Oh these beetles is champion!" He licked his bowl and snout clean with a long agile tongue that made the girls sitting with Nob and Dervel gasp with wide eyed admiration. "D'ya think there's owt for puddin', like?" he asked. Nob laughed, spitting his beer. Dervel whipsered into one girl's ear and gave her a half a crown. She got up off the sofa, straightening her rather skimpy dress and sashayed over to Podwyn, who was currently thinking if he had 2 and 6 for a beer. "C'mon luv," she said. "I'll be your pudding, and show you something else you can use that tongue for!"

As the slightly confused Podwyn was lead upstairs,  he heard Nob shouting "Be brave young Ryhfler! Do the Regiment proud!"

Yawdryl Vaark sat on the porch of the Senior N.C.O. quarters, drinking a beer. His weekend had been a good dinner in town, then a drink and a pipe with Master Yawdryl Tarquin and reading Alkynder's treatise on the use of light infantry in vertical envelopments. He now watched his ryhflers straggle back to barracks, disheveled, debauched, and some still drunk. Some were still singing ribald barracks songs. Podwyn was singing loudly, carried on Derval's and Nob's shoulders, wearing a brassiere on his head where his garrison cap should have been. Vaark laughed into his glass. He'd be filling out a few missing kit reports and deducting lost uniform items from their pay.

But at least he didn't have to retrieve any from the MP lock up.


Appropriately enough, Dan visited me on Remembrance Day to give me a set of Ironclad Miniatures resin trench pieces he had bought many years ago and never got around to doing anything with. He thought that my Quar would like them. A can of dark brown spray paint and a couple of make up brushes from the dollar store later and they painted very quickly. Tremclad Leather Brown spray paint, then dry brushing Cashmere Tan craft acrylic, and Vallejo 70886 Green Grey. Craft acrylic Slate Grey for the wood and Antique Green for the sandbags. Then a brown ink wash over both, and then I went back over the sandbags with another dry brush of Antique Green.

I saved the gun from the Airfix coastal battery (another gift from Dan!), which I turned into a space Forward Operating Base. I thought the gun would look good on a VSF landship or something. But I made it into a fortress gun with a base made from some think sprue and a domed wooden washer I had salvaged from an old piano.

Note entrance to a dug out

Dan has also given my Quar a couple of armoured cars. One is a 3d print he picked up at Fall In this year. It's a Garford-Putilov used by the Russians in the First World War and Civil War. It certainly looks awkward enough to suit the Quar.

The second is a 1/35th scale Polish Samochod Pancerny Ford Tc, used in the 1920s. It was apparently an awkward kit to build, but my Royalist Cavalry Corps are grateful for the mechanized upgrade.

Zombiesmith has announced a Black Friday Sale for later this week, so I think a few more support weapons and such will be purchased.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Sharp(ish) Katanas

I had Weirdy-Beardy and Big Pat over last night to inflict some fuzzy rule ideas on them.

The game was mostly straight up Sharp Practice with some modifications to shooting from the Tenka Fubu blog here. I also added in an Armour Save to shooting hits, but forgot to give teppos better armour penetration and forgot to use the Armour Saves in hand to hand. ho hum....

A Random Event: the hatamoto-gashira has a broken sandal and suffers a -1 to his movement dice.

Deployment Point and some Support Options

Cavalry on a flanking move from a Secondary Deployment Point

Weirdy-Beardy's sohei monks (center of picture) are out of the box after many years of silent meditation

Sohei with bows covering Weirdy-Beardy's Secondary Deployment Point

Heavy cavalry vs light cavalry. Ouch. Although the bushi with yumi (horse archer samurai) managed to take 4 of the bushi with yari (samurai with spears) with them,

Hatamoto clear archers out of woods

Fight to the death! Samurai Big Man and last sohei archer kill each other.

Remains of the Daimyo's cavalry wipe out a shattered group of sohei, dropping the Ikko-ikki Force Morale to 0.

Big Pat had fun because he won. His die rolling is notoriously bad, so he was happy for a change. Weirdy-Beardy started out badly and struggled to recover; his cards weren't coming up, his initial deployment off his DP was a traffic jam,  it seemed he couldn't roll any 5s or 6s to save his life. He did mangle Pat's ashigaru-yari, but at a heavy cost and it was too little too late.

So I should probably next go back to Seven Spears and see about importing the things I like from Sharp Practice; Deployment Points, moveable DPs, Support Options. I'm still internally debating whether the Command Cards in Sharp Practice are "better" or "worse" than the Fate Cards from Dux Britannarium/Seven Spears. I like the Random Events in SP, but how to reproduce that in Seven Spears? I would also like nobori (those big banners that an awful lot of man power was assigned to) to actually mean something for game play.