I’ve just posted up the rules that I wrote a while ago to a Wars of the Roses version of Lord of the Rings (Middle Earth) Strategy Battle Game. The rules are just the additional things that you might need like profiles, weapons and some special abilities that will add some Wars of the Roses flavour to a game of Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game.
They’re in no way complete – there’s no rules for heroes, cavalry, Irish Kerns etc, but they do include rules for some of the most typical Wars of the Roses troop types: billmen, longbow archers etc. They’re inspired by other adaptations such as Age of Trebuchet and Legends of the Middle Ages.
Played this game last summer, but only just got round to having a proper look at the Pelennor Fields battle photos I took at the time, and thought they would be worth posting here. Don’t ask me for an AAR (After Action Report) on the game, but we basically played the main big battle from Games Workshop’s Pelennor Fields starter set. Great fun and looked amazing! Especially the Witch King on Fell Beast – he was a real bugger to put together let me tell you – and paint – only broke a couple of times …
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!
I’m writing about good habits for wargamers today. And also related to that good habits in other areas of life as well.
I think of habits as being something that is fairly unconscious – something you don’t have to write down and plan for. You just do them. A bit like brushing your teeth every morning and evening. That type of thing. I came across the book Atomic Habits by James Clear recently (after listening to an episode of Henry Hyde’s excellent podcast. I’m only part way through the book so far, but it’s certainly resonating with me.
Habits not Motivation
James Clear says that if you want to get things done, motivation isn’t enough. You can aspire to write a novel, or paint a wargames army, get fit, lose weight, etc etc. But unless you have good habits you will never get there. You have to be able to do the work even when you don’t feel like it.
I certainly feel like that about writing and wargame hobbying. I am really bad at getting into a habit of writing every day. Having read the book I’ve realised it’s because I have an aspiration to write lots of books and be a “writer”, but in practical terms I’m not sitting down and doing it enough. I don’t currently have a real habit of writing on a daily basis. I’m trying to correct that at the moment by setting aside time in my daily schedule, but it’s still a bit stop start.
My Wargames Hobby Habits
My habits are now pretty ingrained when it comes to working on my wargames hobby, and in particular painting miniatures. I paint for about an hour every morning, before anyone else gets up. What helps I think is that I set-up the environment to make sure its easy to do it. I don’t have a dedicated painting area – instead using the kitchen table. What I do is bring down all my painting stuff the night before, just before going to bed. I leave my painting box and miniatures case on the table (unpacked though), and then I set it up in the morning while waiting for the kettle to boil for my tea.
As well as making it easy and having the environment right – nice and quiet, and I can listen to an audiobook or podcast at the same time. I think I’m also putting this habit next to another habit I really like – having a cup of tea in the morning. James Clear in Atomic Habits calls this habit stacking. It works really well.
Now I just have to figure out how to get the same good habit for writing everyday as well …
This post is part of a series of tips and tricks that I use when painting miniature figures. I don’t profess to be an expert, but I always find it useful to find out how other people do things, so I thought I would share what works for me as well.
What is this post about?
I’m not writing here about how to store your miniatures once you have painted them – that’s a whole different thing, but rather the best way to keep your miniatures dust free and safe between painting sessions. I usually paint a miniature over a period of several days – one day I will prime, the next basecoat, the next shade, then do layers or drybrushing and finally basing, which can take a few days in itself.
I don’t have a dedicated place where I can leave my miniatures and painting equipment in between sessions. And even if I did I don’t think I’d want to leave partly finished figures open to the elements – dust for instance, and even worse the ravages of small children and pets!
How I protect my miniatures in between sessions
After just leaving miniatures on a bookshelf, I soon decided I needed a better solution to storage between painting sessions. First off I put an upturned water pot over the figure I was painting. This was Ok but not great when painting more than one figure. The next solution I tried was very small cardboard boxes – some had previously held watches, iPhones, jewelry and other unimportant items. None of these really did the job – especially with regards to height when miniatures were mounted on wine bottle tops for painting (more of that another time!)
I released that I would a proper solution, and I came across the amazing Really Useful Storage Box company and their great range. They do secure and sturdy see-through plastic boxes in pretty much any size you want. They are also sold in several outlets now in the UK, such as WH Smiths, Rymans and others, so quite easy to get hold of.
I chose the 0.7 litre box for what I needed, but if you were painting smaller or bigger miniatures then you could probably find something suitable. So far it’s worked pretty well. The main issue I have though is stopping the miniatures bouncing around. At the moment I am using blocks of Lego to brace the figures in place. If you have other solutions then let me know!
I haven’t managed to post much recently – mostly because I’ve been pretty busy on stuff – which can only be good news right?
As well as editing part 3 of Stonehearted, I am also working on the plot for parts 4 and 5 and how the series will end – it’s exciting stuff and I’m really enjoying deciding what will happen with the characters. For most of the series I’ve just written it from the seat of my pants, but I’ve decided now that I need to tie everything together.
From a gaming/hobby point of view I have been working on a fortress for Hobbit Strategy Battle Game – using the templates from the LOTR rulebook. This is made out of foamboard, and I have pretty much finished the cutting out and sticking together phase. The fortress is going to feature in a mini-campaign about an attack on the Shire and a case of mistaken identity when orcs try to find Bilbo and the ring, but end up going after someone completely different. The fortress is an old Kingdom of Arnor construction that will be the centrepiece of the final battle of the campaign.
The picture above is the WIP so far.
And finally I have dug out some old Warhammer scenarios for the RP and Battle game that I wrote when I was a kid – some of them seem quite good! So I’m going to type them up and post on this site somewhere.
Hopefully will post something most substantive next week – possibly an article on Medieval Football I think.
One of my ambitions is to collect again some of the miniatures I owned as a kid when I played Warhammer – nearly 30 years ago in the mid to late 80s. I’m not sure if this is one of them or not – but I certainly had a number of the Townspeople and other general human types.
This is from the C04 Thieves range and according to Stuff of Legends his name is Picker Pete Lightfinger – see below for the original catalogue image from the 1986 Citadel journal – and he was designed by the Perry twins.
For paints I used the new Citadel range as follows:
Base: Mephiston Red Shade: Carroburg Crimson Layer 1: Evil Sunz Scarlet Layer 2: Wilder Rider Red
Base: Macragge Blue Shade: Drakenhoff Nightshade Layer 1: Altdorf Guard Blue Layer 2: Calgar Blue