Having finished the fort in its "as new" version I decided to expand the game-play options by making some of the sections as ruins/attacked areas. Mostly I have been dying to find a use for these really coo,l construction blocks that my kids got me for Christmas last year (hey, there is a twist....kids buying toys for DAD at Christmas time). Fortunately they fit in perfectly and I was off to the races with my hot glue gun in hand.
I will readily admit that tiling the floor of Fort Matanzas was an exercise in vanity. As I was working on the Fantasy fort it occurred to me that as D&D is played on a squared surface and that it would greatly ease play if the level surfaces were demarcated in squares. Looking at the model I realized that I should have marked out the squares before I started building things, ah, hindsight! The answer to this was to cut a zillion square tiles and stick them down on any surface that figures might be placed on. A somewhat tedious answer, but an effective one all the same. So I fired uo the Proxxon hot wire cutter and got to work. In a very short time I had mounds of tiles ready to go. My schedule kept me from tidyiong up the workspace and then Justice and Rule dropped by to set up his Star Wars game. In his usual efficient style he organized the stock items I had cut and added a whimsical touch of his own, see beow;
a tiny crew had shown up to assist me in my labors
My favorite glutton for punishment, Justice&Rule, has volunteered to run D&D two nights in a row, on the 24th he intends to run Brendan and his buddies (plus anybody else that shows) and the on the 25th he will try to exterminate the rest of us.
Bring your favorite lucky dice and be ready to rumble!
I had a couple of free hours this evening so I finished the structure of the fort. I have several swapable (is that even a word?) sub-structures that fit in the courtyard and I have managed to make most of the partition walls moveable. We will go through this layer by layer;
I am thinking of reworking this with modular subunits as well
I had an hour or so free after I got home from work today and found that The Housemartin had dropped off the promised matte board. This allowed me to start on the interior units of the fort. I want the model to be used over and over again without it becoming stale. I intend to make most of the interior structures as independent units so that they can be re-arranged at will.
the Proxxon hot wire cutter makes it easy to produce a lot of identical parts,
I was still growling about the rigging/sails thing when my long-time buddy, The Housemartin, mentioned that he was getting his kids into the newly released edition of D&D..H e asked if I would be kind enough to build a multi-use fort for dungeon-crawling and adevturing. This seemed a pleasant change from fore-stays and braces so I agreed. He gave me some sketch plans of the fort and told me to allow my imagination a free rein.
What you see below is the start of things. I am planning on making things as modular as possible to allow many reconfigurations to enhance the model's playability.
the hill on which sits the fort, the basement is set up as a store-room,
It has been a while since we played (in other words it has been a while since I took a drubbing) Is anybody interested in playing DW this weekend, it would certainly make terrain set-up easy! We also have to dragoon Kris into GMing.
Please respond in the comments section.
So we played and had a blast! Thanks again to Kris for running the game and Tom for letting us use his lovely model boats. The British slipped past the Russians for the Win; mostly by dint of better dice rolling (and we were faced by Tom and Brad, two men who long-ago angered the Dice Gods and have never figured out how to make amends). It was quite interesting to use a fleet that I was not familiar with. The Brits have some awesome heavy units and dangerous torpedoes, the Russians have devastating firepower at close range and all sorts of neat tools to allow them to survive long enough top use them. Neither fleet is a "technique" fleet, but they both darned good bludgeons.
The Housemartin dropped by with his extensive collection of AQotMF toys and ran a game for us the Saturday before the 4th of July. Yes, I am late in filing my AAR. The scenario is that U.S. and Canadian forces are meeting up to attack a Martian base that is nearby and seems poorly defended. The Martians have figured out the simple Marconi radio-telegraphs used by the humans and know the attack is coming and have laid an ambush for the unsuspecting humans.
So I was working on the Pirate sloop, I have sorted out the standing rigging to my satisfaction. It looks right but leaves plenty of room to handle miniature (which is the reason for al this after all). I began working on the running rigging. On a real sailing vessels there is a complex web of lines that move the yard arms and another set controlling the sails. To make this manageable for gaming I had to severely reduce the amount of lines. I also had to keep in mind the idea that the masts will be removable from the hull for storage purposes.
This is where disaster struck. I had added some detail (a pin rail or three specifically) just to make the boat look better. The problem is that the pin-rails were glued to the hull. When I started tying the running rigging to them I neglected the idea that the mast needed to be easily removed from the hull (this after going to great lengths to ensure that the standing rigging was all detachable). I found that I had securely attached the masts to the hull via the running rigging.
I have to confess that a fair amount of swearing ensued.
The running rigging was all hacked away and is the waste basket.
Now I am back to just my standing rigging. At least the ratlines look pretty.
I have begun researching the rigging for the Pirate Sloop and came across this site quite honestly I find the amount of rigging on a real ship to be terrifying! A VERY LARGE amount of editing will have to take place before I can decide on the final rig. The Historical Naval Ships website is a fountain of information (OK I confess I wasted a couple of hours digging around on this site) If you are at all interested in Naval Ships take a look.
I have always struggled with the balance between modeling and gaming, more so than some as I came to war gaming from scale modeling and I still feel "the urge" to add useless delicate details that add little to the value of a wargames model but satisfy my desire for it to be "just so".
Rigging on model ships is one of the sore points; none and the model looks ridiculous, the proper amount and it is unplayable. A delicate balance must be found. One of the trademark things about an old school sailing vessel was the ratlines, the rope ladders that the sailors used to climb aloft and adjust the sails. I have seen people use screening, netting and variations on gauze, some of which worked well enough in smaller scales. The problem being is that this is 28mm (heroic 28mm at that) which means that the real scale is between 1/60th and 1/48th. Far too large to even try to get away with using rabbit fencing or screening. For me at least there was but one path to follow; making it the way the real thing was done, in other words The Hard Way.
In reality it isn't nearly as bad as one would think, a bit of thought and preparation and it becomes a simple task (demanding of some careful attention but far easier than painting buttons!). As with anything that needs to be made to a regular size and shape a jig or frame is the way to go, see the picture below:
The horizontal lines are 1/2" apart, the posts are arts and crafts spools purchased at Hobby Lobby and the board is just a bit of scrap plywood I had lying about the workshop, for a single-use you could easily use heavy cardboard as your backer and push-pins for the posts. The lower row of posts are the ends of the ratlines that tie into the dead-eyes (more of which in a later post) the two top posts are the ends that attach to the mast or crow's nest. As I am going to be making at least five sets of ratlines I opted for a sturdy set up and glued everything solidly in place.