This week in wargaming at WSS, April 20

It’s the weeks before Salute, so there’s general running around and getting stressed, but oddly enough, we still get things done!

Guy: With Salute looming on the horizon, I think the entire team have been crazy busy with preparations for the big day, now less than a week away (come and see us at stand TM04. My game (GM06) will be a Tactical Espionage Wargame called Black Ops. There’s been a few last minute delays and my usual help has been unavailable (although I have to extend a big thank-you to Ricky P for helping out at short notice). On Thursday night we ran through a four player game of Black Ops with Darren A (playing the Conscript defenders_ and Matt D (playing fanatics), Ricky P (with a professional cell) and Calise N (playing Elites) as the attackers. Not much in the way of stealth tactics was used - Ricky fired an RPG far too early and set off the alarms. Even so, Calise snuck her team in and rescued the hostage with minimal casualties. One thing was apparent, while everyone had a great time, the game took too long - two hours. For Salute we need a streamlined fast-play game which will take an hour tops. I’ll make the necessary changes before the big day.

Mark: Last weekend I went on holiday to the north of England to see my brother. As I drove up I think I must have passed within a mile or two of at least half a dozen battlefields: Cheriton, Newbury, Northampton, Bosworth, Wakefield and finally ending up at York within spitting distance of Towton and Ferrybridge as well as Marston Moor. I’m sure there would be more if I’d looked at the map more closely! It made me realise how many more battlefields I need to walk, and how fortunate I am to have so many within a days drive! Gaming this week consisted of another bash at Lion Rampant. This started very well, but a series of failed activations turned it into a real nail biter at the end. I just about managed to grab victory. At the club I played a 15mm game of Hail Caesar. I played Galatians against a Hellenistic Greek state. This was a thoroughly enjoyable game. I hoped to hold my left flank on a hill, pin his centre and envelop his pike blocks on the right. Unfortunately my right flank didn’t want to follow my instructions for five turns! They must have been a mercenary tribe paid off by the Greeks. While my brave Galatians war bands made breakthroughs in places, the head on clash against pikes was always going to go my opponents way! Oh well! You win some, you lose some!

Christy: With Salute coming up next week and Ancient Warfare IX-2 in production, things have been a bit hectic around here to say the least! I took a break from painting videos this weekend as Jasper very generously volunteered to du tutorial on painting Warlord’s recent late-war plastic Tiger model. Instead, I’ve been focusing more on my mystery diorama. I got a lot done on the base itself last week (in fact it’s basically all done). That’s a huge relief, since all I have to do now is work on the figures. Still, that includes three cavalry models, so I’ve been hard at work on the tedious task of painting the horses. Not a fun job, but one that is important to do well and get right for the overall look of the model. Besides that, I’ve been struggling to find uniform references for very early Napoleonic Austrian cavalry (perhaps that gives you a bit of a clue to what I’m working on). Anyway, all the really early stuff isn’t as well documented and so I feel some guesswork coming on. But then, this whole diorama involves a lot of guesswork anyway, so it won’t be a huge departure…

Jasper: My reports become predictable if you read the above: I’d promised Christy I’d paint the Warlord plastic Tiger I (great model - very enjoyable to build) for her YouTube channel a week or two ago. Then last week, Guy told me he could use some help with the terrain for his game. Trying to be a friend, I promised him I’d make some scatter terrain. Richard Clarke argued in WSS a few issues ago that the small details - telegraph poles, laundry lines, outhouses and such - really help take terrain to the next level. So I set forth and worked on 18 pieces of that, all the while trying to also paint the tank. A bit busy, but I’m pleased about how the results as far as the Tiger’s concerned. As for the scatter terrain, at least there’s still a few nights left…

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