Thursday, February 12, 2009

Preparing for another Dennewitz

I've spent the majority of my hobby time the past couple of weeks preparing to host another Dennewitz game. This next one will be this upcoming Friday at my club's monthly game night. When possible I like to play test my scenarios at home before subjecting the club to them. This helps me work out any kinks in the scenario and get things balanced so the game is fun for both sides, even if this means tweaking the forces or arrival times a bit. The test run of this scenario (see my previous updates below) went well. The published scenario seemed well balanced and the decisions of the players in my first game dictated the outcome, which is my preference. Since I didn't have to work on the scenario, this gave me extra time to work on other aspects of the game, starting with the pictured dedicated terrain cloth. I expect that I will be running this game a few times so I took the time to flock a felt with all the roads in place for the battle. This makes a much nicer looking tabletop but still allows be to set up the game rapidly at location away from my home.

One of the things that we as wargamers have to deal with in our games is distortion of scale. Figure scale, ground scale, time scale are all balanced to try to give a good playable game while maintaining as much historic accuracy as possible. Most gamers try to match the scale of their buildings to the figure height scale, i.e. 15mm buildings with 15mm figures. In the past I have also done this. Recently my uncle Ralph has been using 6mm buildings to represent towns in his 15mm V&B games under the assumption that these more accurately match the ground scale and have the benefit of not making towns and villages occupy an unreasonably large amount of the tabletop. Considering that Dennewitz has eight (8) towns on it's small tabletop I found that this necessitated that I adopt Ralph's philosophy and build up eight town blocks using 6mm terrain. I chose to buy my buildings from Timecast Models from the UK. I chose them because they had a good selection of Eastern European models suitable for Napoleonic battles. The top photo here shows a close-up of one of my town blocks using Timecast's walls and buildings. The buildings are removable for when the town is occupied by a stand of troops. This allows the town to occupy a minimal footprint on the game table. The photo to the right shows a wider-angle view of a couple of the towns bracing the marshy-banked river that is a central feature of the battlefield. The 6mm bridge is also a Timecast model.

I was still missing a couple of stands of Dragoons mounted on linear stands, so I also painted them up. Per the recommendations of the members of the Volley & Bayonet Yahoo group I added a light wash (made by diluting my 25mm wash) to emphasize the details of the figures. I was a bit gun-shy about using the full strength wash in fear that it would muddy the figures too much, but in the end I think I swayed the other way a bit too much and could probably have diluted it less for a stronger effect. Still it's an improvement over the non-washed figures. It also shows up a bit more in person than in photographs under incandescent light.

1 comment:

Dave Gamer said...

AJ: How exactly did you "flock" your terrain cloth? It looks pretty nice. What kind of cloth did you use (regular felt? Broadcloth)? What kind of glue did you use to hold the flock down? I notice the roads look dark gray - were they painted on or did you use something like fine dark gray Woodland Scenics ballast?