I tested out some terrain I made recently for WW2 at 6mm (1/300) scale wargames. I made some basic fields out of card, clump foliage and flock and I think they look pretty good. The trees were cheap on ebay and again on simple card base.
I also used some paper 1/300 buildings on a simple card stand – bought on Wargames Vault. The buildings look huge don’t they for a microarmor game! They’re quite nice buildings, cheap and easy to make so no complaints there. I have read that people often use 2mm or 3mm scale buildings for 6mm and I think I might go down that route in the future. I’m planning on doing 1 stand = 1 platoon rather than a squad so a smaller building imprint would make sense.
A quick hobby tip that I thought I would share in case anyone else comes across the same problem. I tried my hand for the first time at making my own trees for wargaming using the Woodland Scenics Armatures and their clump foliage. I couldn’t get hold of their Hob-e-Tac glue for attaching the clump foliage, so used a tacky glue bought from Hobbycraft. Not sure about this, but I assume it was supposed to be similar. Anyway I got the clump foliage to stick to the armatures which was the first stage. Then what you are supposed to do is spray the tree with Woodland Scenics Scenic Cement (basically watered down PVA), which I did but that resulted in most of my clump foliage simply falling off straight away!
Now this might be do with the tacky glue – perhaps Hob-e-tac is amazing – although a search on the internet seems to indicate it is not. I tried some alternatives. Super glue fixed the clump foliage perfectly and strongly, but I didn’t fancy using my tiny tube of super glue on lots of trees, so I looked around for something else. I had some Bostik Contact Adhesive for making Peter Dennis’s Paper Soldiers. I tried this – you’re supposed to attach to both parts and then wait for it to dry four minutes to get a good bond. I did do that, but gluing bits of clump foliage was not ideal, so I thought why not just plonk it on the armature and see if the clump foliage will stick straightaway – and as Bob Ross would say I had a happy accident! It worked like a dream. A really solid fix. I tried spraying the Scenic Cement on and that worked great as well – no bits of clump foliage dropping off.
Here’s a photo of two sorry trees on the right after spraying – using the Tacky glue, and on the left is the one with Bostik – looking very solid!
This is such a characterful miniature – I really loved painting this one. I played the campaign recently with some friends and Guthrum did well in his first battle against the Wood Elves – but he got drunk and never appeared at Orcs Drift. With the painted figure I had a go at doing some tattoos and put a red glaze on his nose to suggest his drinking habit!
The Orcs thinking they have tracked down the location of a Baggins send a larger party of Orcs to attack the hamlet of Hamlingden where they believe a Baggins to live – in fact it is a distant relative of Bilbo, Lobelia Sackville-Baggins.
Forewarned Aragorn is waiting with a group of militia and has sent word to Gandalf for help. Gandalf arrives part way through the battle.
Lobelia’s house is a hobbit hole in the hamlet of Hamlingden. The hamlet consists of one hobbit hole and a couple of cottages above ground. There are a number of vegetable gardens bordered by low fences and hedges around the hamlet that form defensive barriers. A few copses of trees can be placed around the board as well. The board is 4’ x 4’.
Lobelia starts just outside her hobbit hole. Aragorn and the Hobbit Militia and Hobbit Archers start anywhere within the area of the hamlet and its gardens.
The Orcs then deploy on any board edge up to three inches in. They have had time to plan their attack and surround the hamlet.
The Good player’s objective is to survive until Gandalf can get to the hamlet and cast a spell to aid their escape. Once Gandalf arrives he should make his way to the hamlet and ensure that at least Aragorn, Lobelia and half the remaining hobbits are within 6 inches of him. He can then cast an enhanced version of his Blinding Light spell, casting on 4+. If successful all Orcs on the board are blinded long enough for the Good forces to make their escape. Alternatively the Good player wins if the Evil force is defeated in the normal way, i.e. reduced to 25% plus Lobelia, Aragorn and Gandalf are all still alive.
The Evil player’s objective is to take Lobelia captive. To do this they must reduce her Wounds to zero, but instead of killing her this renders her unconscious. She then needs to be carried to the edge of the board by the Orcs. This can be done by a single Orc carrying her. See the rules for carrying on page 109 of the Rules Manual. Lobelia is a Light Object for the Orcs to carry, a Heavy Object for the Goblins.
Gandalf will arrive part way through the battle. Starting on turn three he arrives from the Eastern board edge on a roll of 4+.
I have been working on a narrative campaign recently for Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game. It’s a fun series of linked scenarios set in and around the Shire. The scenarios start with a small number of models building up to larger battles and ending with a siege against the forces of Angmar! Can Gandalf and Aragorn protect the Hobbits from the evil Orcs and their master?
I am going to post an overview of the campaign below and also each scenario in a separate post. PDFs also available for download.
A Case of Mistaken Identity A Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game Narrative Campaign
It is some years since Bilbo Baggins has returned to the Shire and settled down to his old life. The shadow in the East has stirred again and has been looking for news and rumours of the ring. It has heard a rumour of the ring being in the north and its spies say that the ring is with someone called Bagginses.
The campaign is a series of small linked battles.
The forces for each battle are detailed in each scenario description —it is assumed that any injuries are healed etc. However, if any heroes are killed then they return to the next battle they’re in but with 1 less Wound. If they survive the next scenario they are then returned to full Wounds.
A Shire militia patrol is ambushed while beating the bounds by a party of Hunter Orcs on Fell Wargs. Only the quick actions of Aragorn can save them.
Aragorn finds a scribbled note on one of the Orcs written in the Black Tongue – they are looking for Bagginses!
Attack on the Hamlet of Hamlingden
The Orcs believe they have tracked down the location of a Baggins, so send a larger party of Orcs to attack the hamlet of Hamlingden where they believe a Baggins to live – in fact it is a distant relative of Bilbo, Lobelia Sackville-Baggins
Forewarned Aragorn is waiting with a group of militia and has sent word to Gandalf for help. Gandalf arrives part way through the battle.
Escape Across the River
The Shire is too dangerous for anyone called Baggins. While Gandalf goes to make sure Bilbo is safe, Aragorn leads Lobelia Sackville-Baggins and the surviving militia across the river to try to reach the old Arnor fort of Edding Moor. They are pursued by a new Orc warband sent to finish the job the other Orcs failed.
Searching the fort of Edding Moor
Gandalf is alarmed to hear where Aragorn has taken the hobbits – he believes it is a trap and that forces of evil live in the fort. He goes in first to clear it out.
Within the ruins Gandalf must battle Barrow Wights, Spiders and Bats!
Attack on the fort of Edding Moor
Once Gandalf has attempted to clear the interior of the Fort Aragorn and the hobbits enter to seek refuge. They are joined by a group of Dúnedain to aid in their defence. But the Enemy has sent one of his lieutenants with a large army of Orcs and Trolls to seize the hobbit and destroy Aragorn and Gandalf.
A group of Hobbit archers and militia are beating the bounds of the shire, a mysterious fog descends, and they become lost in the woods.
Unbeknownst to them a pack of Warg Riders has been tracking them – hoping to take a Hobbit prisoner so that they can gain information as to the whereabouts of a certain Bilbo Baggins.
There is an old ruin near the centre of the board consisting of a ruined house and bushes.
Woods, bushes and rocks are placed around the rest of the board.
The Good player deploys the hobbits within 6 inches of centre of the board near the old ruin.
The Evil player may then deploy the Warg Riders anywhere on the long edges of the board up to two inches from the board edge.
Alternatively, if you have a square board then the Warg Riders start from North and South.
The Hobbits’ objective is to escape off the board and avoid capture. They can escape can be off either of the East or West board edges. Half the Hobbits must escape.
The Warg Riders’ objective is to capture one hobbit and remove him from the North of South board edges (see special rules).
A Ranger of the North– Aragorn has been tracking the Orc Warg Riders and although on foot has now caught up with. He comes to the aid of the hobbits.
Every turn after the first there is a chance that Aragorn will appear. On a roll of 4+ at the start of the Good player’s turn Aragorn appears on either the North or South board edge.
Capture a Hobbit
The Warg Riders’ task is to capture at least one Hobbit. They will do this by reducing one Hobbit to zero wounds and then carrying them as a Heavy Object away to either the North or the South board edge.
Hobbits count as a Heavy Object and maybe carried by Warg Riders (an exception to the normal rules). Warg Rider’s movement is halved. The Good Player may not shoot at a Warg Rider carrying a Hobbit as this may risk injury, but melee combat is allowed. The prisoner is freed if the Warg Rider is slain. The prisoner remains prone for the rest of the game and cannot move.
I played the Warhammer 40k Only War Mission but found out that my lack of care when reading the Mission briefing lead to a very skewed gaming experience!
I’m a newbie where Warhammer 40k is concerned, but this weekend I decided to give the rules a spin as a solo game. I played an army of old Space Marines vs Orks. They were mostly old models – beaky marines and metal Space Ork Raiders, and mostly unpainted so I won’t share any photos here. Points were low – about 430 per side, so this was a Combat Patrol game fitting on a small 44″ x 30″ board on the kitchen table (I really like the new recommended table sizes – makes having a game at home feel a lot more doable!).
The Only War mission is the first mission described after the Core Rules in the 40k 9th Edition rulebook. The mission is obviously intended as a “play this first” mission for those new to the game, or as a standard game without too many complications. The main aim of the game is not to destroy the other army – although that may well help. But to capture Objective Markers. You get a Victory Point every turn you hold an Objective Marker – and there are 4 Objective Markers on the table in the mission. The game lasts until one side is destroyed or 5 rounds. So in theory the max Victory Points could be 21 (there’s one Victory Point up for grabs for killing the enemy’s Warlord).
The Mission is carefully worded. Probably too carefully worded for my little brain. As I was playing solo I perhaps glossed over the details of rolling off to determine who went first and choosing the table side. As a result I looked at the bit about placing objective markers and decided the most logical option for each army was to place the objective markers in their own deployment zone and then to try and capture the enemies once the battle got going. My way of playing solo games is to usually just play each side as logically as possible. Come up with a core strategy perhaps and play each army according to that.
So each army started with two objective markers in their deployment zones and were able to lay claim to them on the first turn and then accrue victory points at a rate of 2 per turn for the rest of the game. Although there was some movement on this later. The Space Marines left their Warlord to hold an objective, while a squad went an captured one from the Orks. The other squad tried the same in the last turn – but failed. So the victory points ended up being even and the game was a draw.
It was fun, but I was left wondering why the Only War Mission was written to encourage such defensive play. I read the briefing again. There was no rule against placing objectives in deployment zones. But then I realised that my solo gamer head had missed something very important in the sequence of placing objectives and choosing deployment zones. Each player took it in turns to place objectives and THEN rolled off for a deployment zone.
So you would have to be very confident in your dice throwing to place any objectives in a deployment zone. As you might well give your enemy an advantage. I am sure there is a clever method of placing objective markers strategically – I don’t know what it is though. But for a newbie like me it’s clear that objectives should be fairly central on the board so that either army has a chance to get them no matter which side of the of the table you deploy.
I felt pretty stupid after reading that and realising my error. I will give the Warhammer 40k Only War Mission another go soon to see how it plays when it’s run properly. But I do wonder if things like this shouldn’t be highlighted a bit more in the Mission briefing? Things can get easily missed or mixed up with so many pre game roll offs!!
I am currently reading Max Hasting’s Overlord book. It’s very well written and has also sparked some ideas for WW2 wargaming – particular micro armour/6mm style games. One of the big set-piece operations of the Normandy campaign was Operation Epsom. It was one of the many attempts to take Caen by outflanking it. The attack failed ultimately, although some ground was gained.
The information that Max Hastings provided about it included the fact that the attack frontage for the three British divisions involved was 4.5 miles. That equates to 7.24 km or 7,240 metres. Now there are WW2 wargames rules where the ground scale is 100m = 1″ on the tabletop (such as Fistful of Tows). That means you could fit the attack onto a standard 6′ wargames table. 7240 metres equals 72.42″ at this scale.
Now most wargames even with 1/300/6mm tanks assume that you’re playing with say a regiment or a brigade – not 3 divisions! I am intrigued to see how a wargame of this size might work on a standard 6′ table. I am going to explore possibilities further and will blog again soon about wargaming Operation Epsom.
I thought it was about time to write up my Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Starter Set Review.
I got the starter set for the 4th edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay a while ago and gave it a read at the time, but there is nothing like using the materials to actually get a good idea of how good they are and what they contain. Having now run most of the main adventures from the Adventure Book using a mix of pregen and rolled up PCs, and I have also started using the Ubersreik material to plan out a sandbox campaign, so I now have a good enough understanding to provide a reasonable review for others.
What’s in the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Starter Set?
First let’s see what you actually get! This is from Cubicle7’s site:
With over a hundred pages of adventures, rules, and setting, as well as maps, handouts, custom dice from Q WORKSHOP, Advantage tokens, rules references, ready-made Characters, a simple GM Screen, and more, this boxed set is the perfect starting point for anyone interested in WFRP.
The Adventure Book invites players of all experience levels into the rich, roleplaying playground of Ubersreik. For beginners, the starter adventure, Making the Rounds, introduces the harsh realities of life in the troubled fortress-town and takes you step-by-step through the rules. For more experienced hands, there are 10 scenarios aimed to expand your WFRP games, offering new locations, new characters, and new horrors to uncover. Coming in at 40 pages, The Adventure Book is the ideal launching point for any new campaign, and can keep your WFRP group busy for several months.
The 64-page A Guide to Ubersreik highlights the bloody history and recent invasion of Ubersreik, examines more than 70 locations in the troubled town, details the surrounding fiefdoms, and introduces a wide array of antagonist cults at large in the area. In addition, each entry comes with two adventure hooks, meaning every location, character, and political pitfall the book presents has examples of how to use them on your games of WFRP.
The quality of the materials is great. The dice are very useful and well designed, and the punch out Advantage Tokens are a must for this game. You can also use the box lids as a makeshift GMs screen – they have a map and some basic rules on the inside. Also there are some useful handouts for players: rumours, basic info on how to play, information about the Empire, which is good if players are new to Warhammer, and also a players and GMs map of Ubersreik and the surrounding area.
The Adventure Book
The Adventure Book contains introductory adventures to get your party started if you are new to Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, or roleplaying in general. The first part of it involves the PCs getting involved in a big fight, which provides a great way to introduce some of the basic combat rules. They are then accused of a crime they did not commit (in true WFRP fashion!) and are press-ganged into joining the Ubersreik Watch. After that a number of adventures are presented that the PCs can get involved in. There’s no particular order to these, but the idea is to start of with some fairly minor events and then gradually increase the complexity and threat. There’s quite a lot of opportunity for GMs to treat this as a sandbox. I was a little disappointed with this as I would have thought that a new GM might want something a bit more structured. I thought that with the intriguing political situation, the PCs would be thrust into a thrilling conflict of intrigue, but it’s not like that. You could though use the information in The Guide to Ubersreik booklet to introduce such a campaign.
The adventures included are OK in my opinion. There’s some interesting NPCs there and situations, but I didn’t feel that any of them really grabbed my attention. Maybe it’s my failing as a GM, but I felt that they could have been a bit better. Some of the extra adventures presented near the end might prove to be more attending – the littlest Waarghh! looks fun for instance.
The Guide to Ubersreik
For me this is the more useful resource in the medium to long term. I doubt I would run the adventures again, but the background material for Ubersreik is very rich and contains loads of plot hooks – perfect in fact for the sandbox campaign that I have planned out and am about to start soon. There is some great detail on the political situation, which hints at what is happening more and prompts some ideas for a GM. To me it feels like this was designed to give GMs ideas for their own campaigns – which has been the result for me at least.
I was a bit disappointed not to see the political situation in Ubersreik developed further in the adventures provided, perhaps a missed opportunity to provide an opening campaign, but I can see why the writers perhaps didn’t want to inhibit a GMs own plans either. I have also heard that there is some link with the wider Enemy Within campaign as well with regards to the Emperor taking over Ubersreik – so maybe that will make things clearer.
A Note on the Pregen Characters
For my group we used two of the pregen characters, while the other player rolled their own. Unfortunately, as released it’s not clear how much starting XP and advances the pregens have. They’re not full character sheets and miss off some skills. This has now been rectified with an update to the PDF. But that update was some time after I had started running the adventure. I did guess though that the pregens were quite overpowered, so allowed the other PC some extra XP.
Upping the level of the pregens feels like a curious decision. I would have expected them to be starting characters, but they’re actually a bit overpowered. The lack of explanation also makes them hard to run if you have the full rules or are thinking of taking the adventure further.
On a positive note the pregens do come with a load of back story and also ways to link them with other members of the party, which I liked. The gatefold character sheets look very good as well. There are even mini-adventures in the Adventure booklet for each of the pregens as well,
For your money the Starter Set is a great resource. Although I think you would need to get the main rulebook pretty soon after if you liked the game. The biggest negative is the lack of detail on XP and advances for the pregens. The main positives are the great background material for Ubersreik and all the plot hooks.
Great value for money in my opinion.
You can get the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Starter set from Cubicle7, Amazon, and most other RPG retailers.
I hope you enjoyed my Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Starter Set Review!