Friday, 27 September 2013

The Birth of a War Room

(and what we have been up to since my last post over 18 months ago!)

Despite promises to the contrary, this is my first post in over 18 months - lots of reasons but one particularly good one - I now have my own "War Room".  This involved some delicate negotiations with my better half and some trade offs.  However, I am chuffed to bits to have our own space to paint, model and game in, and room enough to store all of our treasures.  I say "our" because my kids and I are the gamers here - about half my games are with the kids and the other half solo. 

Anyway, here is what we started with, the old boiler/junk room, 10 feet by 8 feet:

We emptied out the junk, removed the old heating system and started to see the potential:
Added paint, panelling and lino flooring:
Then added the fun stuff!
And finally, the key ingredient, my gaming club:
We spent a lot of time and a fair bit of money on the project but we are all happy - the kids and I for obvious reasons and Mrs.W because the deal is that everything to do with wargaming lives in here!
Storage solutions by Ikea, Ebay and the local butcher.  We like the open trays for terrain as it makes it easy to get at, especially for the kids who love making "layouts".  Figures not on display live in the A4 clear boxes, figures being painted or based are on the shelves to the left along with my huge rules collection. 
Under that is the painting table that can seat three (not all mine - two of the neighbours'):
As you can see it is a happy place and has made the world of difference to all of us.  I am very grateful to my wife for all her work in getting it ready, as well as agreeing to it in the first place.  You will appreciate that it has completely changed our ability to game and removed much of the pressure that I used to feel to make games small and portable.  That said, we are only generally playing on a 3'x3' surface rather than the nirvana of a 6'x4'.  The table does open out to 5'x3' but restricts access to most of the room so we generally don't bother - the kids sometimes struggle to reach anyway.
The painting area on a tidy day:
Soon I will post some pictures of the games we have played over the last 18 months. 
Here's a photo of our "Battle in a Box" that pre-dates the War Room:

Yes, it's the Rules With No Name again - both my kids just love the card/chit draw mechanic of this game so most things we play are TRWNNish.  That's a foot square table mat as the base with 10mm buildings and 15mm figures. The wooden chits thrown in a bag and drawn out replace the card deck but we still use the cards for character reference.
I hope to post more about the last year and a half over the coming days and weeks - Gears of War, Scifi Ambush Alley, Viking Song of Blades & Heroes & Chain Reaction 3 Swordplay, Spacejackers Throwdown, Necromunda, Crossfire, Star Wars Fighter Pods, X-wing, Space Crusade and most recently of all my introduction to TooFatLardies rules which I can't get enough of and have similarities to TRWNN - Sharp Practice, Troops, Weapons & Tactics and Chain of Command so far.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Still here!

Two months since my last post! - Just wanted to let you all know that I am still here and will be blogging again shortly.  Christmas, New Year, A trip away and having central heating fitted have all got in the way of my blogging but not my gaming.  So I have plenty to report on soon - Gears of War, Star Wars, More Rules with no name skirmishes, new scifi and colonial figures, my sons Eldar, my first Hasslefree figures, Space Crusade, family gaming, compact & portable wargaming.

A taste of Gears of War:

More soon and maybe, just maybe I am going to get my own hobby room!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

15mm Star Marines from Irregular Miniatures

Following on from my previous 15mm comparisons, I thought I'd post some more pictures of the Irregular Miniatures Star Marines as they seem a bit camera shy here on the internet!  These guys get a lot of battle time with me - I love their vaguely menacing look and variation of kit and poses.

Further down there are a couple of pictures of's Shia Khan Malig's which make excellent 15mm Ork or Gretchin types.

There's a good variety of poses and minor variants of the same pose too - I like that about Irregular

Here's how they scale with GZG New Israeli's!  Not surprised that NI guy looks worried!
Of course, this works fine if, like me, you are happy to explain it away as genetically modified super troopers or simply as a different race.  That's the beauty of Scifi for me.

Front and back of Star Marines 

I find that there's something vaguely Predator like in these figures
- maybe it's those dreads on the officer

I like that heavy weapon and the electronic warfare officer can add a dimension to scenarios

More including a flamer 

Rocket Launcher & another hacker/EW technician 

I'm not sure who these guys are but I think they are from Irregulars Space Pirates range.
These guys often find themselves in our scenarios being arrested/hunted/rescued.

And now for some opposition here are a few Shia Khan Malig's

I really like these - they convey a lot of character

They will soon have re-inforcements once I get my GZG Alien Mercs painted up.

Hope this has been of interest to you.

15mm Scifi Comparison Pictures

Following some discussion over on TMP, I thought I'd post a few comparison shots of's Retained Knights, Irregular Miniatures' Star Marines and GZG's New Israeli's with various vehicles.

L to R: GZG New Israeli, Irregular Star Marine, Retained Knight

Close up: Marine & Knight

Retained Knight with Laserburn Glaive!

GZG New Israeli & Retained Knight

New Israeli, Marine & Knight with Airfix 1/72 Cruiser tank conversion

With an Old Crow Glaive

With a Matchbox Battlekings APC

With my Poundshop Purchase!

With another Poundshop purchase

With an ARC Fleet Heavy Grav Tank

With a Light Tank

With an Airfix 1/72 Challenger

I hope this helps someone somewhat.  I have more pictures available on request. 

Thursday, 1 December 2011

New Israelis receive transport

I recently picked these up for £2.99 each in Toys'r'us thinking that they looked a good fit for 15mm:

It was the 2 vehicles bottom left and bottom right in each pack that I was really interested in.

These 2 will go to my Laserburn Gangers

Not sure where these two are destined for yet.

I'm chuffed with these, I think they'll be pretty good when they have had a wash or drybrush.  The only slight dis-appointment was the large size of the Hummer compared to the APC but I can live with that.

  The existing camo scheme goes really well with my GZG New Israelis.

The 12 man squad fits nice and plausibly as an 8 in the APC and a 4 including the leader in the Hummer.

Something new and exciting has entered my life - TRWNN!

The Rules With No Name! 

Western gunfight rules that are new to me but probably not to you, being as they have been floating around for 15 years or so! 

Once again inspired by Spacejacker and his use of TRWNN for a Scifi "Throwdown" game, I hunted down a copy of the free rules and then went and bought the hardback edition from Wargames Foundry which was reduced to £10 from £25. (It's back at £20 now but is still well worth it in my opinion). 

Inspired still further by the book, I got out a few 15mm gunfighters I acquired a while back:

Then I set about photographing them so that I could make up the character cards for the game:

Then my son and I grabbed the 50cm x 50cm desert/arid board we recently made and added our Cowtown and some rocky outcrops:

We came up with a quick scenario having randomly chosen characters (Tom got the best two characters - "Slick" the Legend and "Rock" the Shootist whilst I got the worst two - "Chaps" the Gunman and "Neill" the Citizen).  Chaps and Neill had to break their buddy out of the sherriff's office over on the far side of the street - that's them making their plan behind the rocks.  Unknown to them, Slick the Sherriff has had a tip off and is ready for them along with his trusty deputy, Rock.

"C'mon Neill, we gotta bust Amby outta that damn jail or he'll be hangin' by noon.  You head straight for the livery barn and cover me, I'll go left through the rocks and come in along Main Street."

As Chaps goes left through the rocks Slick moves across to the barn and lets fly with a hail of lead that hits everything except Chaps and leaves Slick needing to re-load.  Chaps sees his chance and returns fire, downing Slick with a serious leg wound:

Meanwhile, over to Chaps' right, Neill runs across the open ground, initially dodging Rock's heavy fire but eventually he is hit in the head and staggers around like a drunk as Rock tries but fails to finish him off.   Rock either needs an eye test or a straighter barrelled gun!

Rock blazes away at Neill to little effect - no wonder he kept missing, he can't even focus on Neill, he's all blurry!  Perhaps it's the drink!

Chaps runs in close, hoping to finish off Slick but the fearsome reputation of the legend that is Slick puts him off his aim. Instead, Slick is able to drag himself to his feet, reload his pistol and hit Chaps in the arm and graze his chest:

Both wounded, Slick and Chaps then engage in a fistfight whilst Rock finally manages to hit Neil again with a serious arm wound.  This is too much for Neill and he runs for the hills shouting to Chaps to get away while he can:

Chaps breaks out of the fistfight with Slick and hightails it, hoping to put plenty of distance between himself and the hobbling legend:

However, he is not quite fast enough, and at extreme range Slick manages to salvage his reputation with a cool, calculated and fatal shot to Chaps' head:

Besides, Rock was closing in for the kill having chased Neill off into the hills:

Sherriff Slick will have to get that leg fixed up by the Doc but at least the outlaws were driven off or killed.  Rock could do with a pair of glasses but is otherwise unhurt.

Well, what a great time my son and I had playing this game - this was truly one of those 'moments' you just occasionally get when discovering something new that suits you down to the ground.  We found the rules really simple to follow but they gave the game a truly cinematic "Hollywoodesque" feel that was incredibly fun to play.  Thanks to Spacejacker again for the heads up and inspiration.

I just love that we could have a meaningful and fun game with 4 figures, 10 buildings and 4 rocky outcrops on a 50x50cm board.  In fact this could easily be played on my footsquare board - the buildings are at the small end of 15mm and may in fact be 10mm but they work really well here for breaking up lines of sight and providing corners to take cover behind.

I'll definitely be trying these out with my Scifi figures and I reckon they will work a treat for some colonial skirmishes I have in mind.  I think the optional rules for group movement would be a good addition if I am going to get disciplined soldiers involved though. 

I am also going to make suitably adorned MDF bases as my wound, action and character cards/chits and pull them from a bag rather than shuffling cards - I am rather fumblefingered.  I will still make character cards though but the players can keep them so they have all the vital information on and they can add on wound chits as they are drawn from wound bag.  So, that's a bag of action & character tokens and a separate one containing 2 or 3 sets of wound tokens.

Wow, I really have a young boyish sense of incredible excitement at the prospect of all the goodness to come!