Saturday, 29 November 2014

Solo War gaming

Out of necessity, having a wheel chair bound wife, I spend all of my evenings at time at home, I enjoy painting the soldiers and will happily spend a couple of hours of an evening doing just that. Beats watching the rubbish on television. When I decided to war game, I didn't know anyone who would be interested in the hobby, not locally anyway. Solo was the way for me to go. It does have advantages, my opponent is always available when I am, he doesn't drink my beer, doesn't mind me tinkering with the rules in mid-game. The disadvantages are I need to collect and build two armies, there is no banter such a game would undoubtedly encourage. No surprise tactics or movements. 


I use the Pike & Shotte rules by Warlord Games, in a modified form that suits me, I don't like all the rules in the book and as such modify them to my own taste. I also base my troops on some plastic bases I have had for a number of years, each base holds three horsemen or up to twelve figures. I also single base my figures as I like the flexibility that it gives. I would of course have problems going up or down a hill of course.


Unlike a model railway layout, the terrain for a war gaming table needs to be constantly changed so no gluing or fixing down of scenery. Also I use the kitchen table and 'She who must be obeyed,' would not wear that. I am shortly going to purchase an 8 x 4 (feet) sheet of MDF, cut into two 4 x 4 boards. I shall hinge it in the middle and when not in use will be stored in the garden shed. Having a folding board will make it much simpler to store and of course to carry around.
Currently my battles are restricted to the size of my kitchen table top 5 x 3 (feet). Not ideal, the whole table is covered by a sheet of green cloth obtained from a local store for a couple of pounds, the yellow crop fields are simply squares of felt that cost 50 pence each. The same price was paid for the grey felt that was cut into strips for a road. The houses are resin and came unpainted, at a very reasonable price, as was the ruined church at the bottom of the photograph. Hedges and trees were home made using balsa or MDF, lichen and scatter materials. A simple, but I think an acceptable battlefield.
The two houses represent the outskirts of a village, the road passing through. The hedgerows beside the road are home made as mentioned above. You can also see the bases I use in this shot.
Another shot looking along the whole length of the battlefield. The Royalists on the left and Parliament on the right, defending the village.

Prince Rupert (right) his Dragoon leader (centre) and a Brigade commander (left) discuss tactics on the road leading to the village.
 The church having been primed with spray paint is arranged on its MDF base.
 As you can see the detailing is very good.

The largest piece is the end with the remains of a window frame.
 Here it has been glued down, base painted and flock added, it is still drying in these photographs.
Bushes, trees and rocks still need to be added.
 A small stone cottage painted up and ready for use on the game table.

 A two storey timber framed house also ready for use.
The house is photographed in a small diorama box. This is an old cardboard box with the top and front removed. A grass mat added and a model railway photographic back scene (N Gauge) added. I also made a tree from a piece of privet hedge and lichen, and the bushes too are lichen. Makes the photographs of the buildings and the troops more pleasing, I think.
 A regiment of Foot in formation in the diorama box.
 All ready to face any foe.
Take aim!
 Two regiments of Horse. With more shots of them in the following photographs.

It almost brings them to life.
Next some home made forest/wood pieces using Sea Moss for trees, MDF bases, lichen bushes, rocks and scatter.

 I cut the bases so that both pieces could be placed together to form a larger forest/wood.

Some troops added for scale. 

Put down a piece of brown felt and you have a winding muddy track through the woods.

Or a road.

Even a river.

Placed end to end for a longer wood.

Well, I hope you found all that of some interest.
I have taken delivery of a baggage train consisting of four carts, cart horses, a mule train and horse walkers. I shall be building and painting all that during the month of December. I will of course keep you updated on the blog.

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