Saturday, 29 April 2017

The Weather Where You Are

Geoff got me an ex-library copy of Charlie Wesencraft's classic Practical Wargaming a few years ago.  It was one of those books we used to take out of Edinburgh Central Library on a regular basis (my copy is from the Lancashire County Library, first borrowed in March 1975, with the last date stamp being 27 Feb 2008.  Nobody needs to know that but I thought I'd record it anyway).
However, not just being a trip down memory lane the book does actually have some interesting ideas in it, not to mention some arresting expressions.  The one I always remember in the discussion about missile fire is that we are not supposed to be interested in whether a particular infantryman 'successfully stops an arrow with his chest', a phrase which I still find funny, if a little macabre.
Fun with hardboard and paint
Anyway, in the Preparation for Battle chapter, there is a discussion of the effects of weather on battles and instructions on how to make and use a weather 'barometer'.

The illustration from the book explains how it is used, which is basically to throw 2D6 at the start of the game to find a starting point between '2' at the top (fog) and '12' (storm) at the bottom and then move the red peg up or down (or not move it at all) depending on die throws each move.
Weather barometers and funk boards: the epitome of 1970s wargaming
As you can see I added an extra section at the top, which is not actually part of the barometer but where the string goes so I can hang it up.

So it will be interesting using this in our next game.  However, I would like to add that, based on a Scandinavian book I had as a child (I still have it), the word 'barometer' is inextricably linked with the word 'foreboding'...

Monday, 17 April 2017

Another Barn Conversion

My previous post was about making a (15-20mm scale) covered structure to go over a bridge I'd constructed even earlier.   However, looking for a small project in between my various trips this year I decided to use the 'barn' for another purpose.
In this case I made a base for it so that the 'barn' could be used as a free-standing structure.  The base includes internal walls and doors at either end.  The objective was to make a ruined substructure that would be revealed when the barn was supposed to be damaged due to shell fire or arson (or inclement weather?) during a game, a suggestion taken from various old-time wargame books.
As you can see, removing the barn would therefore reveal the remains of the ruined barn beneath it, but with enough space and absence of clutter to place troops as necessary.
Construction used the usual mixture of matches, wooden stirring sticks and cardboard.  The sub-structure was designed so that the barn would be held securely in place until it had to be removed.

After putting it together, everything was undercoated in black and then heavily dry-brushed in dark earth, with sand highlights and various coats of thin black wash for shadows and emphasis.