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  • in reply to: Another New 74 Up On The Blog #122075

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Nice work. I never have the patience to do all the rigging.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: SS Panzergrenadiers for Normandy #121730

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Nice work, I reckon they look really good. As I understand it, Xan are pretty much designed to be compatible and stylistically similar to AB. I sometimes wish I had stuck with 20mm for WW2, but as I play mainly Chain of Command, I thought that going 28mm would work as you only needed a platoons worth of figures..   now multiply that by 12 platoons and supports, and yes, I should have stuck with 20mm 🙂

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Taking the plunge into AWI #120609

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    I have a fairly large and varied collection of AWI figures I’ve picked up in the last couple of years. I confess, I don’t like the Warlord figures, the ones I have just don’t seem to lend themselves to natural poses, and are very skinny. The one exception to this was the Woodland Indian set, which with a bit of work, gives excellent results.

    The Perry plastics on the other hand are uniformly excellent, go together well, look pretty natural, and I mix mine quite happily with the Perry and Foundry metals. (IIRC I even have some Dixon mixed in). For rules, I use Sharp Practice 2,  which I think works extremely well, especially in capturing the differences between the various troops.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --


    Doug Melville
    Participant

    For years I have been advocating that wargamers adopt a standard house acrylic paint for scenery pieces, use the same flock, etc.

    I had paint cans for litres of ‘ground base’, ‘drybrush highlight’ and ‘water-feature’. It worked perfectly for me. Now the paint company has withdrawn my base colour from their ‘new range’, and I haven’t yet been able to get it matched. Grrrrr.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: What is a narrative wargame? #120270

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Well, I have rather been enjoying playing Lardie rules almost exclusively over the last couple of years, so I very much had them in mind when I posted my comment.

    But one of the things I am finding, (and this may be age), is that I am very much less competitive than I used to be. Having been a keen competition gamer in the past, I now treat gaming as much more of a social and collaborative exercise in story telling. I still prefer to win than lose, but it’s almost irrelevant to my enjoyment of the game.

    The other thing I will note is that the quality of the games we think of as ‘narrative’ have improved over the years, so that where it was once considered ok for a narrative game to be a bit of fun and not perhaps well enough explained, play-tested, or have some gaping holes, more recent efforts have been much tighter and leave less of the ‘well how does that all work out then’ moments of puzzlement for players. (I know I had some difficulties persuading my local players in Canberra to try rules written by the same writer(s) as an earlier set that they had tried, and felt deeply unsatisfied as it had gaping holes in.)

    Part of the social contract thing between players is that you try to make sure you are both playing the same rules – having to make it up as you go along trying for mutual agreement can be less than fun.

    Narrative games need to be written to at least as high a standard as ‘competitive’ sets. More so in many ways, as the structure is inherently less rigid. For example, if you can react to an opponent’s actions, you’ve stepped out of the IGO-U-GO cycle, so now you need to write for that. If you have variable move lengths, you need to add in additional rules and perhaps some narrative explanation.  Writing a professional standard rule-set for a narrative game is hard. (I know, I’ve tried a few times, almost inevitably being incredibly derivative, and eventually deciding that there were rules out there that were better, albeit different, from the ones I wanted to write.)

    Personally, I think between Sam’s larger scale games, and the Lardies efforts, we are pretty well served..  and on the rare occasion when I get an ultra-competitive urge, I can always play DBMM.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: What is a narrative wargame? #120220

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Ok, I am going t0 be brave, or foolish enough to take a stab at this. Firstly all games are narrative to a greater or lesser degree. It depends in large part on the players, although it would be foolish not to recognise that some game systems are better able to generate a narrative.

    So for example, a game with a solid historical basis, or a well established back story makes a narrative easier to create or sustain. A game on a smaller scale will make it easier to empathise with the protagonists. A campaign where characters have a recurring place creates narrative inflection.

    But it is the players who generate the narrative. By treating the troops as men, as actual living and breathing characters or units, not a collection of stats. It happens when players make it happen. I have had a narrative game playing DBM, I’ve had a soulless game of SAGA.

    If rules-writers want to create a narrative game, then they need to create an experience where the shared story-telling of the players is more important than the competition for a simple winner. Of course, it is a game, there is a winner and a loser, but I have enjoyed some games more when I have been on the losing side, than others where I won. So add ‘colour’ not ‘chrome’, make it clear at what level(s) the players are engaging at. Create scenario and campaign based games, not ‘equal points encounter battles’. Implement mechanisms that are unobtrusive and intuitive so players concentrate on their orders and incidents, not the mechanics.

    My tuppence worth.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: DIY Desert battle mat #120101

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Fantastic looking results there. The teddy bear fur one is especially fantastic. I must try this out.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: State of the Union #120098

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Nah, the Frothers Spam (non)Filter provides us with an additional source of levity..  and the Ukrainian Brides are a notch above the offering from other websites. 🙂

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Wargames Rules and Horse Archers #117902

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    The antidote to horse archers was better armour (so cataphracts) and foot archers with powerful bows – simple equation, you can get a lot more foot archers into the same space as a horse archer, and mass shooting kills or wounds horses. This was one of the reasons Chinese armies were very keen on crossbows. The Sasanian response to Hunnic invasion was armoured horsemen with bows.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Tamiya 1:25 Tiger tank… #115558

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    I have heard that story about the Tunisian Tigers. Not sure where I heard it or how verifiable it is. As for weathering, well, in 1:25 I would say, start out with less. Paint scratches also can look good, but in the larger scales most people paint them two tone which is a lot of mucking about (in my book).

    Dust would be your friend if it gets a bit messy.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Tamiya 1:25 Tiger tank… #115512

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Very simple. you know the cheap sponge packaging you get in blister packs like Warlord etc? Ok, get some black or very dark grey (I use German grey, as I find black too harsh), dip a corner of the sponge into it. practice using the sponge to ‘dab’ the paint onto a flat surface, and when you are happy with the consistency of coverage and that you have the technique right, just dab onto corners and heavily worn areas. Don’t put too much paint on the sponge, and you wasnt to be almost ‘dry sponging’ if I can use that term. Each time you dip the sponge in the paint, do the ones you want most heavily chipped first, then as paint is used up on the sponge, go to the less worn areas to give very light chipping. Hope this helps

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Tamiya 1:25 Tiger tank… #115503

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    The hairspray method is pretty good. Or you can just do it with a piece of packing sponge. Not sure how badly chipped Tigers would be, they didn’t spend that long in country IIRC.

    PzII DAK

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: The Zen of Split Rail Fences. #115450

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    I’d be interested to hear a description of the system. I have loads to do for the AWI.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --


    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Thanks very much for this. I read it with interest.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Auchentoshan #112654

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Ah..  Auchentoshan. A very nice single malt. Up there with my favourites. Bit harder to find than Talisker,

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Salute 2019 Video! #112267

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Thanks for that. Some nice looking games on show.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Black Tree Design #111869

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Well, an additional pack of figures arrived. So I now have most of my original order, (still short one LMG pack) but I have received an additional email from John which was very apologetic and offered to send additional figures to compensate. I still have the Paypal dispute pending, which requires a response by 11 April, but they are making all the right noises.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Black Tree Design #111302

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    All right. An update. A package arrived from BTD. Not the complete order, but at least something.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Black Tree Design #111280

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    That’s all fine and well Mike, and I don’t mind a week or two, but three months with no communication, and no replies to emails?  Anyway, as someone said, Paypal have now extended their dispute period to 180 days, so I have raised a dispute, and will hopefully get my money back to spend with a more reliable vendor.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Black Tree Design #111236

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    My comment was based on an observation that this is literally the ONLY wargames company that I have ever dealt with where this has happened. I have heard all sorts of stories, “oh the UK company orders stuff that has to come from the US”, sickness etc. If that’s the case, then it would be much more honest for the guys in the US to fess up. I thought I was dealing with a supplier with a UK business, not a reshipper of US products with limited stock on hand, dependent on the next cargo shipment via seaborne freight from the US when their caster can get round to it.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Late Romans – Equites Promoti Seniores 15mm #110993

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Very tasty indeed, those old figures look great.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: What's your favourite ancients ruleset and why? #110094

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Having gone through WRG 4th,5th,6th,7th,DBA, DBM, DBMM, Field of Glory, Hail Caesar, Strategos, Sword & Spear we’ve ended up with ‘To the Strongest’ as our go-to set. Unlike most of the other rules listed, you can actually finish a large ancients battle in a couple of hours, there are plenty of interesting player decisions, and it is fun. The grid and use of cards really speeds things up a lot.

     

    I can’t say I have ever had any problem finishing a DBM or DBMM game in three hours. For good or ill…  but then I believe firmly in what Montrose said. ‘He either fears his fate too much, Or his deserts are small, That dares not put it to the touch. To gain or lose it all.’

    😉

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: What's your favourite ancients ruleset and why? #109511

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    I’m still playing DBA and DBMM.

    I prefer DBMM for the spectacle, the limitation to command and control, the depth of the rules and the fact they build a convincing narrative, and feel like a big battle. Ancient skirmishes, such as are modelled in some of the other sets (work out the figure and ground scale based on archery ranges), just don’t appeal to me in the same way.

    DBMM is a truly good game, hidden away in a text that could have been substantially rewritten and wrangled into a modern and much easier to use format. The ‘cottage industry’ mentality of WRG meant squeezing the word count and dispensing with niceties like pictures, examples, guidance and explanation.

    I do like Command & Colours as well for a giggle, but for me it is too constrained for me to enjoy multiple replays, with just a little too much randomness in the card play for my liking.

    Arguably Armati is one of the best representations of particular periods, but the tendency to discover on deployment reveal that you have lost, but have several hours to suffer through, doesn’t appeal much.

    I’ve also played Crusader recently, but frankly it just feels like a buckets of dice skirmish set, with very old fashioned mechanics.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Rules for Dad’s Army #108905

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Any suggestions for suitable rules? In particular, I would like to have some provision for “encouraging” figures to surrender rather than shoot it out to the last man in scenarios such as trying to round up downed Luftwaffe crew.

    What scale of engagement are you talking about? If it’s platoon, then Chain of Command with tweaks, for squad based, I would be using something like the Ganesha Games ‘Flying Lead’. Any larger than platoon level wouldn’t seem right.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: A great mass of Zulus #108904

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Having walked the Zulu Wars battlefields accompanied by a Zulu guide, it’s not a conflict I would game. But I would suggest you are posing a question that is an artefact of a particular rules set. The personal character of the ‘Colonel’, the loyalty of the rank and file, are all characteristics that would apply regardless of army.

    Now you could make a case that the married regiments were older men, with experience, and extrapolate particular characteristics from that. So if the rules you are using don’t, and yet have that level of detail for colonial troops, then that’s a problem.

    There were nicknames for many of the Zulu regiments, and varied experience. You could quite easily add additional characteristics if you wished. I suspect though, that some players still see colonial era opponents with colonial era eyes.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Ancients rules observations… #108781

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    It really depends what you want. Set some parameters and that will dictate your choices. Personally, lately I have played some old skool rules (Crusader) and I still much prefer the sophistication of DBMM.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Corlears Hook Fencibles #108780

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Why can’t you get a dashboard up? You should be able to sign in, select ‘design’ and change everything.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: IMPETUS 2 #108287

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    I have to agree with the above. I participated in the development of DBA 3 and DBMM. It wasn’t tournament players calling for tweaks, it was players citing original sources.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Airbrush advice #108250

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    I use my cheap Chinese double-action top reservoir airbrush all the time – for terrain, buildings, vehicles, and figures. I purchased it from HobbyCo Japan, it came with a cheap compressor (fairly low pressure), and I have bought replacement needles. (I keep bending them..) I think it cost me about 25 quid.

    Cheap, cheerful, and purchasing decent airbrush cleaner works. Just make sure you don’t mix the different cleaners and acrylics. I find Tamiya works really well, using the Tamiya X20 thinner, but for Vallejo you have to use the Vallejo thinner.

     

    And I tend to wait till I have a decent amount of stuff to be sprayed before I use it, the cleaning up is a pain.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --


    Doug Melville
    Participant

    We’ve played some Airfix Battles for light relief, replacing the grid with a 4 inch move per grid square, and they give a fun quick game. Great for armour on armour bashes. The only thing we find is the infantry AT weapons are a bit underwhelming so there’s little incentive to take infantry when you can bash through most things with a big enough tank.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: CoC France 1940 – Devon Wargames Group #107507

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    I’m currently painting French for 1940 CoC,and the Germans are hopefully on their way. Very much enjoyed the Chain of Command games I have played so far. Very different from other WW2 sets I have played, really fun, challenging and for meat least, feels a lot more like being in command than any other set of rules I’ve played.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: How do you overcome no motivation? #107247

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    ‘Agile’ painting? errrr…  not for me.. but for example, yesterday morning – undercoating some figs and a couple of vehicles with a spray can, when I got home, bodged up a Panzerjager crewman from the Warlord Games ‘German Infantry’ box, (a leg here, an arm there.. ), undercoated that, applied the interior colour to a vehicle, painted the little numbers on some shock markers for ‘Chain of Command’ using the Warlord Bolt Action pin markers. Overall, not much actually, but a little bit each day, nothing too challenging, and before you know it, there are some new things to share.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: How do you overcome no motivation? #106938

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    I am not making it a resolution, but I am going to try to do some hobby related stuff every day.. even if it is just sorting through figures. The last week or so, I have painted every day. Even if it is just applying a wash to a piece of terrain. And it is amazing how fast you get things done when you just do a little bit regularly. So for example – cut some bases from MDF one day, glue on resin parts the next, undercoat in the morning before work, add colour after…  And you soon have some very acceptable entrenchments for WW2.

    Over the last little while I’ve been finding if I mix terrain, game aids and figures, then it’s way easier.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Why Do You Change Rulesets? #106850

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Main reason? Because the people I enjoy playing with are using something different. I respect their opinion, so if they think a game is worth trying I will give it a go. I also have a range of periods I have an interest in where I haven’t found a ruleset I really like yet. This has changed a little as I have now found rules I like for small actions for WW2, I have found rules for small actions in the black powder era. I have rules I don’t mind for massed battles of the WSS, and I have a few I want to try for Napoleonics or 7YW. No-one locally plays my ancients rules of choice sadly.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Paint Shaker/Mixer? #106848

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    There are many devices that with the addition of rubber bands or a velcro strap make great paint shakers at a much more reasonable price, they aren’t customarily marketed as paint shakers though. 

    If you were keen to make a paint shaker, it’s a simple matter of a geared irregular weight, a small electric motor, a 9v battery, straps and a base.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Which Rules for Cold War Games? #106256

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Cold War Commander… usually in 6mm,  in Africa, AK47.  I have a copy of Team Yankee, and also Force on Force, but haven’t played the latter two. A quick read through of TY suggested it might be a bit comic book for my tastes, and FoF seems to be primarily designed for post 1980s Asymmetric combat rather than Cold War (I do have their Cold War supplement, which looks not too bad admittedly).

    In addition, for the scale of FoF, I would prefer to use an updated version of Chain of Command, rather than get funky with different dice in FoF,

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: The Highland charge. #106255

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Well, Spanish sword and bucklermen were used to cope with tercios, backed by shooty things. There’s a lot of received myth about the Highland charge, but there are certainly verifiable accounts of it breaking opposing forces. Of course many folk will claim this was because of poor morale in their opponents and that they ran before contact. This is then exactly the same argument about well disciplined and formed infantry resisting cavalry.. if they broke they weren’t disciplined and formed. The ‘No True Scotsman’ fallacy IIRC.

    Hanoverian accounts from Culloden certainly suggest the charge was ferocious, with limbs being chopped off, and ghastly wounds suffered. In my view, it would likely have been more successful had the clans not been standing under artillery fire for an extended period, and on the right, being fired at from flank on the way in.

    There is a danger though in that the trope was about how different these people, were, they could safely be viewed as savages, because that made their extirpation a civic good, and neatly made them ‘other’.  The violence and cruelty afterwards could only be explained by a world-view that saw the Gaeltacht as primitive and barbaric outsiders who must be tamed or destroyed. In such circumstances the legend of their ferocity very neatly parallels the Roman accounts of Gallic or Germanic tribes.

     

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Perry Rhodan #106175

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    The mercedes space-ships are pretty cool.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

    in reply to: Best Cold War Naval Rules? #105792

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    I use Shipwreck, no complaints…

     

    http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/2013/09/shipwreck-first-outing.html

     

    cheers

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --


    Doug Melville
    Participant

    I built the 28mm version and was very pleased with it. Michael is a good bloke, and his designs are well thought out and delivered.

     

    I didn’t do the rubble so well.. I may go back  and add kitty litter, plus the PVA in the well hadn’t cured when this was taken.

     

    desert fort

    I also have some of his other buildings and very happy with them.

    http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/2017/12/desert-buildings-completed.html

     

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/ --

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 89 total)