His goal was to recreate some Lord of the Rings style wargaming. I really like his approach. But personally I like to have a little more magic in them. Like in some of the larger battles of the Drow Drizzt series. Therefore I will probably alter them a bit. But first I need to come up with some forces.
I am thinking to do a 2 mm version. Bases around 60 or 100mm wide. And converting all distances to cm or 2x cm, and 3d print all forces. Just toying around in my head, and scribbling some designs on paper. Hopefully some time to create them in the near future. But probably better to finish some other projects first.
The last post was in March and then it happend. For my birthday in April, I received unexpectedly a 3D printer. A very cool tool, which I already made good use of. But for the printing a lot of preparation is needed, so the time behind the computer was not spent on maintaining the blog. Combined with some house renovation it, it got a little silent here.
The past period I haven’t gamed much. But I have used the 3d printer to create new miniatures and terrain. So I will try to make an overview.
From the projects already on the list, i mainly printed some terrain features for frostgrave. For the other projects no new development. But I have also started some new projects, were the 3D printer create most of the miniatures. I have bought the folllowing rule sets:
What a Tanker – Two Fat Lardies
The Balkan Naval War (Broadside and Salvo) – Long Face Games
Hordes of Things 2.1 – Phil Barker, Richard Bodley Scott and Sue Laflin-Barker
Portable Wargames – Bob Codery
I also came in contact with Remi. He is developing a aerial firefighting miniature game. And I have supplied some miniatures to him, and plan to play the game also myself. Lastly I have also found some nice scenarios in the WSS magazine, which I hope to play out. This all resulted in the Plastic pile.
The first things I printed was terain for Frostgrave. As I already had a selection of miniatures I needed terrain to play on. As Frostgrave requires a lot of terrain I gave myself some options. I have started to paint some of it. But still need to finish it. Mostly some houses and ruins
What a tanker!
What a tanker has interested me since it release. Due to the quick flowing rules and simple dice mechanics. I have doubted for quite some time, finaly ordered the rules. With the 3D printer it is quite easy to print some tanks ans play. And with a large colelction available at Thingverse from Bergman, almost any type you wish is available. I have printed the first batch of tanks from all over the war. I have scaled everything to 10mm so I can use the terrain from Frostgrave/Pikemans lament. To complement this, I have also printed some Normandy houses. Everything now ready to be painted.
Hordes of Things
I have been following the stronghold rebuilt blog for quite some time. And have read most of the battle reports of last years weekly hott battles. This gave a good interest in the rules. After reading more online, it is a ruleset with easy rules. And I realy like the troop generalisation. Therefore I decided to buy the rules. To test them out, I need some armies. So I have started to print some earthenkind miniatures from Dutchmogul on Thiniverse in 15mm. For a second army I am still searching for a good idea. Maybe dwarves or a banana army (see Thingiverse). This is the most recent project and ongoing.
The Balkan Naval War
On this blog I have already mentioned earlier that I was interested in some naval wargaming. When the summer sale was on wargame vault, I got the Balkan Naval war with a good discount. In combination with a set of 3d files of most relevant ships. The ships are printed. So now should be painted.
Beside the above projects, i have also tried some other things. Trying to print some 2mm figures, as I already had bought the forward march library. Printed some other planes for the cold war forces I already have. Printed a fokker T.V. bomber for my may 1940 forces. And designed and printed some Dutch kazemats and sherman tanks for my father. Besides this there are a lot of other ideas. Sometimes even trying to print something.
I hope to take up the blogging and wargaming again. And trying to finish some of the project. I hope to write shorter blogs, to motivate me to blog more often. And also to be able to store all the odd ideas that pass by.
Last two of weeks I have made some progress with multiple armies. A week ago I painted the first cohorts of a Roman army. 1 legion consisting of 10 cohorts. 8 with red shields, 1 with blue shield and 1 with green shield. Finished they look very nice. Painting these 2mm blocks was quite easy. First painting the base in earth colors. Then the army blocks based in silver. Afterwards the shield in their color and banners in red. Next step army painter strongtone wash, which really put everything together. Applying grass, and a nice red border on the base, to make it easier to spot the correct owner and they were finished
After the Roman army I came across a youtube video on the one hour wargame book by Neil Thomas. Being inspirered and I already had the book, started to read it again. As I have a Napoleonic army nearly finished, I played a game of Napoleonics, realizing how quick and easy the rules are, and started fantasizing to start new armies. After reading the wo2 rules, I already was thinking to order some unit when I realized I had some after wo2, 1970s units in stock, planned to be used in the Ethiopean and african conflicts. So this resulted in trowing everything together, to have two 10 unit armies. Every army consisting of 2 tank units (t55 en t62, 2 anti tank units (bmp and sagger), 2 artillery units, and 4 infantry units (some stands with transports like bmp etc.) The red border army is in dark green, the blue colored in yellow green.
The terrain mat has been finished. After the second layer, I have drybrushed all the details with a light fleshy color. Then put some variation with a dark brown wash. But used it more like a filter. Creating a very patchy color.
Next step was the flocking. A mix different short grasses and some turf and sand. Just made some different mixes and applied then with a seave. After that I applied some extra sand to create some rough pathes.
I am very happy with the result. I can roll it up to around 20cm diameter to store away. And use it both for 10mm as 2mm and bigger scales if I want to. Now up to the next part of the terrain. Some more forest, roads and waterways. But for these I need some new ideas, to get some visible pleasing results.
A small update for last week. I have made some progress and played a game. My father and I have played our second game of chain of command. Knowing the rules better it went more smootly. But we have still some things to learn. The scenario was a village road crossing, trying to be captured by both sides. My father played the 1940 Dutch forces, and I the opposing German forces. It ended with a firefight accros one of the roads, with the fire power of my mg34 defeating the Bike platoon of the Dutch.
Next to the game I have also managed to do some painting/creating. I have started to make a terrain cloth, with canvas lined with chaulk. I have mixed some color into the chaulk, creating a nice earth tone. This is the first very thin layer. Next I hope to apply a second layer, mixing some sand in it, to get a rougher texture. After that I will apply some grass/turf to create some random landscape.
I have also spend some time painting the cold war Dutch airforce planes, just spending an sunday afternoon hour. Still a lot of work to do. But progress is progress.
all the cold war Dutch Air force planes, and some USAF 32nd TSF stationed in the Netherlands. Also the B 52 didn’t fit somewhere else, so resides also in this box. I painted the F4’s, some Thunderstreaks and T33 and started with the gloster meteors. Hope to make some more detailed photos when they are finished.
The last blog is a couple of months back. A few months where a lot has happened. Some things sort of planned, some un-expected. A short summery: being fired, Covid-19 and becomming a father. Luckely the last one is very positive and enjoyable. It only reduces modelling and wargame time 😉
But in between all the events, I am still working on some small projects. But I didn’t have time to write some updates.
I have started to paint a bunch of the 1:600 tumbling dice planes. Starting with some of the USAF 32 TFS fighters stationed on Soesterberg, the Netherlands. I didn’t make any photo’s yet, so those have to wait.
Next to that I have started on basing the 10mm Irregular Pike and Shot units, and applied the first paint.
I hope to create an army for pikemans lament. I have decided to base them 3-2-1 on 20mm square bases.
But an army does need some terrain to fight. So have also started making some scratchbuild terrain pieces. Some houses, a castlehouse and some forest and ruins. The windmill and one of the houses had been started earlier. Now most things are primed and some have received a paint layer. Hopefully I can do some more next weekend.
So this was a small update on some work in progress. I have also worked on some scale models in between. Maybe I will post some pictures of those when I have finished them. I am still pressing on, on all different subject. (also reading some books) I hope to update a little more frequently, but expect not too much.
First to start with a disclaimer. I am quite new to wargaming, and have not played a lot of games. So probably I will overlook a lot of rules and concepts. But I will try to write some summary I could find right now.
In general wargames don’t bother to much with civilians. I have read a couple of recent wargames battle reports and most did not feature any civilians. When they do participate I could identify a couple of reasons:
Think about farmers defending their crops against raiding and stealing cattle. Most of the time not part of any team, but acting like some kind of military units with low capabilities. The actual live and living of these civilians is most of the time not considerd, and wont have impact on the story or campaign. This is mostly used in medieval or more ancient battles and sometimes in fantasy or sci-fi adventures.
( Negative or Positive) modifier
It is not good to have civilian casualties, but they are only some negative modifier to the end score. Often seen in ww2 air war games, were you try to recreate bombing of a city, were missed bombs (which have civilian causalities) generate negative points. But is might also be used in modern urban warfare. But it might also be used impacting morale, as the civilians are liking your side more or less.
Those refugee streams can clog up roads, or make moving around more difficult. It just act the same way as terrain feature, impacting your military forces. They might be moving around as a walking forest is which you only see in fantasy setting, so refugees make up a more believable story, in historical setting.
Unexpected military unit
This is mostly used in modern irregular wars, were mobs of civilians are either blocking your road, or suddenly turning back on you and showing itself as military unit.
Starting the research I had expected that there would be not much ways to involve civilians in wargames, but multiple different ways have been discovered. The only one missing, which would make sense from human rights perspective, is a direct head on head wargame, civilians against a militairy power, where the civilians do not use weapons, but score by avoiding casualties. I haven’t found a system what uses these kind of mechanics yet. Maybe I have to create my own.
Now looking back at the original question:
Can wargame rules include human rights violations, and still teach us a lesson, while telling the (his)story?
I don’t think the mechanisms above tells something about human rights violations. They do take civilians in account, and can create good (his)stories. But don’t teach us about human rights violations.
For this I have to search futher or create my own. From computer games I want to highlight two examples, which takes some civilian live into account. The first is “This war of mine”, which is a game where you play as civilian in a warzone, and try to survive in your house. You are searching for supplies and encounter thereby other people, were you can steal their supplies or fight them. The emotional aspect has some place here, as it feels not good to steal from an elderly couple. But if you don’t get the supply, one of your characters die. The second game is “Conflict Zone” were two parties battle, but the resources are civilians. For the “good” side, you try to save as many refugees as possible, for the “bad” side, you don’t care, but need to indoctrinate as many civilians as possible.
Maybe these games can be a good inspiration for finding a solution. Hope to expand this research in the future.
In my research for the Ethiopian-Eritrean-Somali conflict, I encountered a lot of stories which are violating human rights. It started with reading the book Ethiopian-Eritrean wars Volume 2. As my interest is mostly on the aerial war, I didn’t bother that much on the ground war. I had already read the first volume and the one on the Ogaden war, and the ground war was nasty, but the aerial engagements were mostly air to air conflicts and ground attacks, with the ground attacks on military or insurgents targets. There would be some accidentally civilian casualties, but it looked like a genuine war.
Until the mention of Civil bombings around the 1978-1979 period. There were a couple of incidents described, were the Ethiopian air force attacked civilian targets, and saw them as tactical targets. Targets were: Food supply points, Markets and Aid convoys. It was stated that most interviewed airforce personal wouldn’t talk about these incidents, but admitted that it had happened. This triggered a question by me.
Some examples of human rights violation reports on Ethiopia. Source: Human Right Watch (hrw.org)
If the attacks have been placed historically, and I want to represent the air force of Ethiopia during that period, would that also include wargaming these strikes against civilian targets?
Can I challenge myself to wargame this conflict and feel guilty when I have to attack a civilian target, without circumventing these events? I hope this post to be the first in a series just debating, discussing this issue, and maybe create some kind of scenario, around this theme. It will probably be quite challenging.
For playing wargames, there are three main drivers as I see them:
Learning history/ Create a story
War is not fun, but still having fun is I think one of the most important aspects of wargaming. Either having fun with other people, or enjoy your own time spend. The fun is not about the war, but about the game and contacts. And it does not matter if it is an historical scenario recreated or a fantasy battle in space. You can enjoy your decisions made, either the ones that went wrong, or the ones that won the game. But in the end, it is a safe playground, and only the miniatures did die.
Every battle you can learn something, but for wargaming learning new things is wider. You will learn new painting skills, calculating skills, research skills and knowledge. Wargaming will develop yourself willing or unwillingly.
Learning history/ Create a story
This is the divider between historical wargamers and fictional wargamers. Some people want to recreate history and learn what errors are made, and how it could have been changed if decisions were made differently. Others like to tell an epic story, in which would be heroes of villains defeating a certain threat. With a lot of grey area in between, like imaginations and alternative histories. But the basic idea behind it, is that humans want to (re)create stories to tell to each other or himself.
From above mentioned point I came to a general question, and hope I can investigate this in the future.
Can wargame rules include human rights violations, and still teach us a lesson, while telling the (his)story?
I hope to discuss and answer this question in multiple follow up post along the way. Looking more in-dept to the actual events and the physical impact, and how to recreate a scenario where you can both feel the impact of human right violations and not feel sadistic.
In last post, I explained how it started, and some of the starting projects. In this post I hope to set some goals and plans for myself to guide me in the future. And to prevent piling up a too large leadpile. In my day to day job I am working as engineer for a large company, and have learned to set goals, milestones and deadlines, but as this is a hobby, I wont set deadlines. I don’t want to feel bad when I don’t achieve the deadline. So the plans and goals are will not be time bound, so also not completely SMART. But still hope to have some organized planning.
What do I like?
From the experience from the first couple of wargames I have learned that I like historical based actions. This can be real historical or alternative-historical (non-historic battles, with historical equipment). As area of interest I have found a couple:
Dutch historical conflicts (late medieval, 80 year war, Napoleonic times)
Large scale battles
Small scale skirmishes
small scale miniatures
I have been a miniature scale modeler for quite a long time, and have therefore a reasonable experience and set of equipment for painting and basing. Also the preference for small scales comes from that period as I built most of the time 1:144 aircraft and 1:72 tanks. Combining all this I have made a list of different projects for the future. Some are already started and will be continued.
I have listed the different projects which are in my head right now. And hope to stick to this list. All projects consist of 2 sides (or sometimes 3), have a scale defined and a dedicated rule set to play. For the status the following options are possible
Finished, project is finished and no actions planned. Some parts of it might get reused or repurposed.
Painting, Step before finishing, from primer to coat. This is also applicable for terrain.
Acquired, There is the actual lead pile, not having any paint. But might be getting based already.
Research, project who might be already have some ruleset or scale defined, but where I am still researching what I want to use exactly, and still have to buy models. I might already have bought a set of rules or books on the subject.
Wish, Just some intresting rules or models I have seen somewere, which might fit with existing projects, or what I still have to define what I do want to do.
Sample, Some odd projects, which may turn in a full project, but where I have some models as sample for a future project.
Dutch air war 1940
Spanish Civil air war
Modern air war (try out)
Cold war Dutch air force
Ethiopian Eritrean Somalia conflicts
Napoleonic mass battles (including Quatre Bras)
2 by 2 Napoleonic Morale Napoleon
Late medieval Dutch Stichtse oorlog ~1480
10mm? 15mm? 3mm? 2mm?
80 year war
80 Year war
Insurgent vs modern troops
This is just a overview of all my plans and wishes. I hope to provide updates on each and every project in the future, in separate posts.
Priorities are quite flexible. Interest do change, so also the priority on the list. Also research and wish items on the list, can sometimes just be done by reading a book or article. And as this is done in some sparetime, I wont put any priorities on these. As long as there is no lead pile, priority is irrellevant.
Now the actual priorities:
Workplace; Currently the work place is a big mess and I am using an old garden table as desk, which is not very stable. So first actions should be to clean up the work area and update the desk.
Dutch air war 1940; I have already started this project and it I should work on this, to at least have some possibilities to play some games.
10 mm 80 year war; Pikemans Lament is already waiting quite long for a game, so some forces needed to be able to play.
2 mm Napoleonic mass battle; Although this is almost finished it is at this moment the lowest on the list. I can already play some games, so it is good enough for now.
So priorities are clear, but probably have to update this in the future, as new projects will start and others get finished. Hope to reflect next year on what I achieved and how close I will follow the priorities.
One reason to start blogging is to create a little more oversight in my plans. So this first post is about the beginning of my wargame adventure.
I have followed different blogs and pages the last couple of years, and have a general idea in what I want. Mostly in the direction of smaller scales, historical wargaming. Alltough I can enjoy a nice 40k gaming table or Frostgrave battle report, I know it takes too much resources, effort and space to create that myself.
I have started with a couple sample projects. The first was 2 mm Napoleon. I have played a couple of solo games, and hope to play a first game in a couple of weeks. The army is from irregular miniatures, and are painted but basing is not completly finished yet. Still some shadows and grass to apply.
Originally it was the aim to battle Quatre Bras, but I have shifted to a more general British vs French army, red vs blue, so I can enact different battles. Also on 2mm you cannot paint all the different unit markings so it is not a problem for me.
The second interest was 1/600 aircraft, and started with a Tumbling Dice battle of Britain set and a couple of Dutch ww2 planes. I have started to paint these, but due to some primer issues I had to redo them all. Now they have basic camouflage, but are missing decals, which I still have to order. Also it took a while to find a good set of rules but found promising one in Lacquerd Coffins.
In the meanwhile I did aquire some modern pico armor jets. When Assault Publishing went out non-comercial, I bought some Hind Commande packages for the aircraft. I was following him a time as I was hoping that he would republish the A.W.A.C.S. rules. But then I noticed the shut down, and bought some of the sets with a discount.
These have been painted in a random color schemes from all over the world. Just what looked fancy as I did. Hope to make some better pictures in the future.
There are a couple of F-16, F-15, F-18, Su 27, Su 17/22, Su 25 and Mig 23/27. I have played a couple of games of Missile Threat, both solo and against my father. And I do really like these planes and rules. So hope to expand this in the future.
The next step which is in development in cooperation with my father, is Pikemans Lament. And we hope to both start a 10mm army. ( Combination of Pendraken and Irregular miniatures.) I have a lead pile to chose from and hope to create some forces with it and start painting. Also starting some terrain and scenery items. (Animals and civilians)
In the next post I hope to tell a little more about the future plans, and projects I hope to achieve. Also I hope to play some games and share some short battle reports.
So this was the first blog. I probably wont be very consequent posting. But hope to post some new info now and then.