Sunday, September 23, 2018

Salerno 'Tobacco Factory' - Part 4 - Raising the Roof

When I started this project, I knew it was going to be a lot of work. I had no idea until I was 32 hours into scratch building seven separate roofs from plywood and model railroad polystyrene roof tile sheets exactly how much. Here is the complex with all of the buildings that will be intact during the battle.

The rest of the buildings were destroyed by bombing or direct fire during the battle and will be represented by rubble. Some of the facades shown in the previous post will be part of that rubble. Initially I thought I might have those destroyed buildings represented mostly intact. I changed my mind when I realized how dominating the complex is on the tabletop. Rubble can be seen over and crossed by tanks, buildings cannot. 

Each of the roofs is removable to allow figures to be placed inside the buildings. This is a key mechanic for Iron Cross, and will also be useful for Bolt action.

Close-ups of some of the buildings are below. Still to be done, adding more weathering and battle damage.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Salerno 'Tobacco Factory' - Part 3

Work continues on the Salerno tobacco 'factory' terrain for game day. Completed are the base units for all of the large buildings and two of the smaller wedge-shaped buildings. The rest of the smaller wedge-shaped buildings are placed in un-assembled so I could get a sense of the scale of the piece. It's HUGE. The grey mat is 4' x 6'.

The wedge-shaped buildings each side of the ruined building were completely destroyed in the bombing of the complex. I'm likely to make those more rubble piles, lower in height due to the lighter mass of the shorter buildings. This will also allow armor a point of ingress. The same approach will be taken on the wedge building lower left. Lower right the wedge and large building will also be destroyed rubble. These pieces are still to be created.

Two and a half weeks to go. I'm in full brown alert on this. Moving as quickly as I can. The Mrs. came down to see why she hadn't seen me in days and said, "you're missing all the roofs"...yep, they're on the to-do list! Also on the to-do list is adding battle damage and weathering and making scatter rubble. If push comes to shove, piles of crushed coarse cork may suffice for the latter.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Northern Conspiracy September 2018 Game Night

Last Friday was our club's September game night. I played in Mark D's warm-up game for next month's Salerno Iron Cross game day. You can read more about Mark's gaming on his blog. Mark's battle pits his free French vs. the Germans in a meeting engagement. Mark's terrain, vehicles and figures are beautiful and all painted by Mark himself.

Bob and I were the Germans, Ed and Michael were the French. This game EVERYONE started out with hot dice. Stuff was dying fast. Mortars hit first time, every time.  This photo to the left shows what happens when the dice are this hot and you're daring enough to assume that they'll stay that way. Ed charged a single squad of bazooka-armed French infantry around to the German rear, waded through the hail of defensive fire, blew up a German 8-rad armored car, rallied off all it's hits, then took another run at the Panzer IV which escaped only due to additional defensive fire taken by the heroic French.

Many laughs were had - good fun. Congratulations for a well played game by Michael and Ed. Extra points for style.

Phil ran a game of Gauls vs. Romans using Ralph's Hannibal at the Gates rules. From what I heard this was a back-and-forth game with the Romans having early success and the Gauls surging late once their veteran units got stuck in.

Greg put on a beautiful Great Northern War game, featuring his lovely terrain and beautiful figures (see close-up). This game finished sooner than mine, so I didn't get a proper AAR from it. Apologies!

Mark has another write-up and more photos of this on his blog, My Brave Fusiliers.

Rob and Kevin stopped by to say 'hi' but couldn't stay to game.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Salerno 'Tobacco Factory' - Part 2

More progress on the terrain for October game day. I now have one of each type of large building roughly framed up with interiors still to paint. I have one ruined building 'in the raw' still needed to be painted. Here they are on a 'broken blacktop' Zuzzy Mat that I have dry brushed with earth tones to represent the factory's infield. On it are a sample of the craters that will fill the factory's courtyard.

After finishing for the night last night I realized to my horror, that the smaller wedge-shaped sections are too tall. They should be only a little taller than their (correctly-sized) doorways according to the photos. Fate was smiling on me though. I haven't glued them up so cutting them down should be a simple affair on my Dremel table saw.

Next up, continuing to work on preparing three more 'blanks' of the paint-layered plywood to make the rest of the building frames. Hopefully progress on this will start to approach a fever pace. I'm down to only a few weeks and I'm still only about 20% finished.

For the rubble in the ruined section, I used a base layer of pink construction foam. On top of it are over 100 bricks made by punching out thin craft foam with a square hole punch. With the bricks are various sizes and shapes of grit. I'm hoping when painted this will look enough like a correct pile of building rubble but still allow figures to be placed on it. I still have to make rubble piles for the outside. I'm going to make them out of hot-wired foam and more of the same rubble technique.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Saga Saturday

This past Saturday I hosted a 'Saga day' in my basement at the encouragement of my friend Mike and the rest of the club members who were interested. Having a twelve foot long table I can host three separate Saga tables at one time. With the addition of a pair of folding tables I can have four simultaneous games running.  Saturday we had two people who couldn't make it so the big table was enough space. The official Saga playing areas are marked out using orange masonry string.

On the left table Mike and Dick squared off. Dick was commanding a Milites Christi force and Mike was pushing a Saracan warband. I believe Dick won this table. I'm sorry the battle reports on the neighboring tables are unexciting. Playing a Crusader army for the first time had me more than overwhelmed just trying to play my own game.

 The right table featured Ralph's freshly painted and beautiful Teutonic Knights against Michaels Mutatawwi'a with their awesome and lavish encampment. This was a close affair, but I believe Ralph squeaked out a win mostly thanks to an early elimination of Michael's warlord.
 Here's a close-up of Ralph's Teutonic figures.

My battle was against Greg's freshly painted and also beautiful Spanish. I used a borrowed crusader army loaned to me by Mike. Mike's crusaders had a unit of levy and a unit of pilgrims. The pilgrims are awful soldiers, but with the right encouragement from the battle board, can be made to fight. Losing pilgrims also motivates the rest of your force allowing you extra Saga actions. This encourages you to get the pilgrims stuck in and dead, which I did. Early on they gave one of Greg's hearthguard units all that they could handle driving them from the table. From there on it was all Spanish as Greg's javelin-armed force picked my apart in detail with their hit and move tactics. A push at the end made it a closer affair, but the points total showed that Greg had me going away. His Spanish are a tough army to fight against, particularly when well played, which Greg did quite effectively. Good game Greg!

Hopefully later this fall we'll do some more Saga. For now, it's back to the workshop for me to continue working on the Salerno Tobacco factory terrain for our club's October game day.