Halfway through 23 Update !
As with all things I try to do with my Hobby Time, this Blog seems to be a bit hit and miss. But I currently have slightly more time on my hands and more of an inclination towards putting my random thoughts into the ether for general consumption. Although I started the
Blog during Covid it has been rather thin on the ground over the years but I do know I have at least one reader (my long suffering partner reads the article out of a sense of duty to me ) but I will forge on regardless as I enjoy babbling to myself and the Domain name is paid for till 2025. Currently I have multiple projects on the go, probably no different to any other Wargamer, in the form of a New Army, rebasing and old army, revamping my scenery collection to Wow the participants of several tournaments in the next three months and also planning and building two sets of scenery so I can play Firefight/Deadzone and Bolt Action (possibly Sicily and North Africa) at home.
As a Tournament Organiser and supporter of my local Wargames Club I have built and maintained nearly fifteen tables worth of Kings of War style terrain and I have eleven 6’x4’ mats to play on (Fifteen if we borrow the clubs mats too) and these have seen a lot of use over the past 6 Years of my involvement in KoW Tournaments.
This Year however we have been asked to contribute some scenery to the Premier Kings of War event in the UK – the Clash of Kings – held in Nottingham UK at the beginning of September with an anticipated 150 participants ! with just over 6 weeks to go and one of our own Tournaments in the middle of that I need to get my finger out and check the scenery boxes for any damaged Items that need repairing. I also take any opportunity like this to introduce extra elements into the tables, replacing older pieces with new builds as I go along, this way the tables are kept up to date and looking their best for the punters. As the Clash of Kings is likely to attract a lot of attention on social media I need to make sure that the Golden Troll Scenery is in tip top condition so that it can turn a few Heads and not stomachs! The Scenery set for each table is standardised into a set of Ten pieces per set , two impassable features(Rock formations, buildings, ruins etc), two Tall difficult(woods, petrified forests mushroom groves or oasis), Two Flat Difficult(broken ground, swamp, pond, lava pool, field), Two Hills, Two linear obstacles(Walls, fences, hedges etc) and these are all of a fairly standard size(generally under 12” square) this results in a mostly uniform set of tables for competitions as I find it fairer to make everybody have scenery of about the same dimensions.
This was mostly brought about by my experiences of Wargames Tournaments back in the mists of time when all the scenery was cobbled together from individual bits either brought along by the Players( some tournaments relied on this to such an extent that it was in the rulespack ) or from the collection of wargames clubs brought together( our Club scenery still has the club name written on the bottom of some pieces from this era) So I try and keep the terrain within the constraints of these dimensions as I find this keeps me happy. Any new pieces are planned to fit in with the existing terrain which is either a set from the Generic Green Mat set of which there are a few, or it belongs to one of the themed tables which are determined by the more exotic mats (Lava , Winter, Desert, Wasteland) and in the future terrain for the new Mats which have yet to arrive and will probably inspire a completely new set of terrain for themselves.
I have also started to plan out the table layouts using the power of digital design and hope that this will be a help to future Tournaments that I run.
The maintenance of the tables is almost a hobby in itself, with the constant search for scenery that seems to be an innate part of being a Wargamer. I find myself looking at items in shops and online and thinking that would make a good addition to a wargames table with a bit of judicious cosmetic work. Always looking at places I go with a view to what natural materials can be utilised as part of the scenery making process. Aquarium sections of pet shops become a cornucopia of scatter terrain and exotic foliage for Jungle plants, the Garden section of any store becoming the source of basing material and cheap wire to make trees and don’t get me started about the fantastic opportunity that arises in the tacky Christmas shops that pop up in my hometown at the end of October – whilst the bargain stores provide cheap artists materials all year round.
I also keep an eye out for cheap offcuts of MDF or Plywood for large bases for buildings – the buildings themselves are either scratchbuilt or 3D printed (itself another hobby in itself!) although I have swung back to more scratchbuilt with resin printed windows and furniture recently as I find the building of houses for wargames very therapeutic and rewarding and they look just as awesome on the Wargames table. Also the recent discovery of my Old terrain making books( misplaced during our recent House move) has rekindled a previous obsession with foamcard and balsa wood. All I need to find up now is my Polystyrene cutter LOL. The House move and subsequent allocation of a Wargames room (it is pronounced dining room but I know what it really means) has also brought to light the woeful lack of Home gaming terrain and so a priority has arisen for a set of terrain and a mat to play at home on. This will not need to be as robust as the Club/Tournament scenery but will need to look extravagantly decadent to befit a set of soon to be extensively photographed scenery. I think the words used were “Pull out all the stops”. Again I am intending to chronicle this build for the purposes of fleshing out the rather skimpy bones of this blog. I do believe that at least one PigSty was contracted as a requirement of this scenery set!
Since returning to the wargames scene after a five Year hiatus in 2017 I was amazed by the number of YouTube videos available that covered the topic of Terrain making, both for Wargamers and Model Railway enthusiasts, which has led to a renaissance in my Wargaming of recent with me re-inventing myself as an all round Wargamer as opposed to merely a Tournament Player and I am enjoying every minute of it.
So the projected work for the next three months consists of remaking two of the themed tables for the Tournament/Club terrain- these are the winter table and the Desert Table and each of these will be subject to a blog post of their own. There will also be the complete rebasing of my Free Dwarf army for Kings of War to make them a more themed “Northern Dwarf” army due to the inspirational release of the Northern Alliance/Free Dwarf Frostclaw Raven Riders, requiring the Army to be more compatible with a Clansman theme. This, again, will be covered in another Blog post in the near future once I get my act in gear. The rest of the time will be taken in sorting, examining and repairing all of the Kings of War Terrain ready to be used in the Swords of Summer Tournament at the Britcon convention in August , the Clash of Kings Tournament in Nottingham in September and the War up North Tournament in Stockport in October, so as you can see I have a lot to get through over the next three months, although I am not currently playing in the first two events, the Free “Northern” Dwarfs will need to be ready for the October event. Again this has resulted in a fair amount of research and again I have been astounded by the number of Videos out there dealing with how to base your miniatures, ideal for playing in the background whilst I paint or model.
So until my next Terrain adventure Adios! I’m off to watch a Youtube video on making Trees!