Friday, January 8, 2021

God’s Own Scale Podcast Interview

The fantastic Sean Clark invited David Wasilewski and myself on to his show to talk about the All Hell Let Loose rules that David has just published. You can listen to us both talking about our introduction to the hobby, our gaming history and the All Hell Let Loose rules. 

If you haven’t found this podcast before I cannot recommend it too highly. Sean discusses 6mm wargaming with different guests each episode, with previous guests including Dan Hodgson of Reveille Studios, Peter Berry from Baccus, Per Broden from Rollaone, Peter Riley of Polemos fame and many more luminaries from the wargaming community. Please give him a listen, subscribe and talk about 6.

Charles the Modeller 

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Activation Variations

 

The All Hell Let Loose rules use dice out of the bag to determine the next formation to act. This will be familiar to those who have played games like Bolt Action. Essentially each player places a dice into a communal bag for each of his formations. These are drawn at random and then allocated to a formation for it to attempt to act. I want in this post to talk about how this system can be tweaked or varied to provide more options in a game.

 

Firstly it does not need to be dice. I have used Lego pieces instead of dice. Playing cards could be used as well. However for the purposes of this post I will refer to dice being drawn out of the bag.

 

Multiple dice bags

Useful for larger games this allows multiple formations to act the same time cross a large table. This works best when there is an element of separation between players on the same side, such as a main force and a flanking force. Complications can arise when two formations wish to attack a single enemy formation.

 

Multiple Formations activated

Again for larger games rather than use multiple dice bags each dice pulled out activates 2, 3 or more formations. Some thought should be given to spreading the activity across the table. For example each formation activated must be controlled be a different player, or the HQ stands of formations being activated cannot be closer than 24” to each other.

 

Event Dice

A specific dice is added to the bag to determine when an event happens during a turn. For example the arrival of an aircraft formation, or flanking force. This could also be used for weather events such as a sudden snow or dust storm, heavy rain in a jungle game or fog descending or lifting. This can be varied further with this dice being ignored if it is not the first or second dice drawn out, or placing multiple dice in the bag.

 

Specific Dice

Rather than freely choosing formations to activate each die represents a specific formation, or formation type (tank, infantry, artillery etc). This works better using Lego or playing cards. This will constrain players and is an option instead of using discouraged to reflect poorer battlefield performance, particularly if the troops fought doggedly but were not well coordinated as it will not affect morale tests, for example Russian troops in 1942-3. This is also useful when playing a solo game.

 

Stop Dice

A dice is added to randomly determine the end of the turn. This is known as the Tea Card in the Too Fat Lardies I Ain’t Been Shot Mum rules. Whenever this dice is pulled the turn ends.

 

Short Dice

Normally one dice is placed in the bag for each formation but in this variant one or both sides have fewer dice than their available formations. This is useful where poor command and control was a feature of an army’s performance, perhaps for French troops in 1940.

 

Extra Dice

Additional dice are allocated, generally only to one side in a battle. This is a useful option when simulating a more manoeuvrable force when dummy counters would not be appropriate. No formation can activate twice but this is likely to hand the initiative to that army by skewing the likelihood they will act earlier in the turn.

 

Game Dice

One, or more, players are given a small number of dice that can be used at some point during the game, either added to the bag, or available as interrupts. This can be used when you wish to simulate the impact of a particularly effective general and their ability to red a battle.


All Hell Let Loose is now available from Wargame Vault.


Keep the dice rolling 

 

Charles the Modeller

Saturday, January 2, 2021

All Hell Let Loose Rules Playthrough



I have posted a video onto YouTube of a basic playthrough of the All Hell Let Loose rule system. This is a couple of turns of game play with explanation of some of the basic game mechanics. It isn’t a full game and I don’t cover every section of the rules but it’s intended as a taster and simple run through.

It’s my first ever video so let me know what you think in the comments.

Keep the dice rolling!

Charles the Modeller 


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

2020 End of Year Review

It’s time again for me to indulge myself, a little bit anyway, in an end of year review. This was my second year blogging although I took some time out whilst I sorted myself out. I’m going to try to not mention the great global pandemic which caused such disruption and upset so many plans. Even so though it was quite a year

2020 Highlights

 

  • The All Hell Let Loose wargames rules by David Wasilewski were published! Available now from wargamevault.com
  • I took my Arnhem game to York and Hammerhead. Wargames Illustrated put a picture of it in their magazine.
  • I completed a model and game of Brécourt Manor.
  • My eldest really loves going to wargames shows with me and building the occasional model. We are doing the lonely mountain for his geography homework.
  • Built a model of a V1 Launch site
  • Painted my early war Germans
  • Ended the year rebuilding my enthusiasm for wargaming.

 

Passing Regrets

  • That we were all locked down and I couldn’t attend more shows
  • My father passing
  • Having to take time out from the blog and my hobby for so long
  • My eldest not finishing his first unit of British troops for the AWI.

 

2021 Hopes 

  • Get to any show any where.
  • See respectable All Hell Let Loose sales.
  • Exhibit at the Joy of Six, hopefully alongside my friend Roly and his Chateau la Londe game
  • Engage my eldest son more and teach him some basic war games. 
  • Introduce my other son to wargaming and modelling.
  • Continue to produce this blog
  • Produce another model or two - nothing definite yet but hopefully the muse will strike
  • Get back to some face to face gaming next see so many friends.

Keep gaming!

Charles the Modeller 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

All Hell Let Loose Ruleset Available Now!

 

I am absolutely delighted to announce that the All Hell Let Loose ruleset is now available to buy at wargamevault.com!!

The rules are aimed at 6mm wargamers and are designed for European theatre WW2 games and were written by David Wasilewski.

The rules are available in hardback, softback and downloadable PDF.

The game is designed for players to control between 3 and 5 formations each - battalions, regiments or battle groups. These are made up of stands with each stand representing a platoon of about 30 infantry or 4 - 5 vehicles. The game contains a guide for playing at 1-2-1 scale and I used this for my Brecourt Manor game. Basing is 25mm by 32mm but is not crucial we’ve played games with different sized bases without any problems.

All dice rolls us 6 sided dice.

Scale and time are not defined but for bigger scale games consider 1” is between 50 and 100 yards, 1 turn 30 to 60 minutes

There are only 3 mechanics to learn -

Activation controlling movement and actions. Checks result in formations doing very little to sudden bursts of action.

Firing - both direct and indirect comparing dices rolls and situational modifiers with defence factors.

Assault - close quarters firing and hand to hand fighting.

There is no map making or written orders system. Formations can move strategically (faster and with certainty but no combat effect) or tactically (more varied movement and combat effectiveness). We also cater for disguised movement and fog of war.

Turn sequence is determined by dice out of a bag

Smaller games can be completed in 4 hours on a 6 ft by 4ft table

I talk a bit about what we wanted to achieve here and discuss the activation concepts here.

There will be more content on this blog discussing the rules over the next few months and some scenarios for use with the rules.

This facebook group contains more rules information and discussion, please join if you are on social media.

Keep the dice rolling!

Charles the Modeller


Saturday, December 12, 2020

Hiatus over

The blog has been on an unplanned and impromptu hiatus for the last six months. I haven’t had a good time of it recently with a lockdown, a lot of work on and unfortunately the loss of my father. It’s had a major impact on my mental health and my desire to do pretty much anything but I am feeling brighter and am hoping to restart posting and get back into my wargaming. There is a major post coming imminently.

Best wishes to all

Charles the Modeller

Friday, May 22, 2020

Brécourt Manor - Part 9 - Camouflage Netting

Experimental 6mm Camouflage Nets

The final piece of development work on the Brécourt board has been completed. The episode of Band of Brothers I have based the board on clearly shows all the gun positions have camouflage netting over them. I believe this was not true of the actual site and battle - the guns were very effectively hidden in the hedgerow and had no need for any camo nets. I will not be using camo nets in the game because they hide the key positions I want players and watchers to be focussed on. However I did look at how to create and model camouflage nets for 6mm figures.


The research I have been  able to do indicates that WW2 German camo nets that are for sale seem to indicate that the nets are 12ft, by 12ft in size. The nets seem to have 50mm or 2 inch sized square holes with the netting rope between 5 and 10mm diameter.


The Germans would probably have been able to cover a gun with a single net but I need the netting to cover a much bigger area because each of my gun positions is designed to have 6 figures on 8mm bases and a gun and ammo boxes in them. Each gun position is about 30mm x 25mm. A little large but doable.


However if we translate the other measurements to 6mm scale the net would have holes 0.16mm square with rope 0.03mm. This is obviously problematic - it would appear to have no holes and be gossamer thin and very fragile. However if I went for cloth with 1mm by 1mm gaps it would result in nets with holes that scaled to 1 ft square! Compromise was required.


The best material I could find was 90 grade cheese cloth designed for straining cheese and other food products. This gave me according to the manufacturer a 44 by 36 thread count per inch and results in holes about 0.3mm by 0.3mm with the thread about 0.2mm thick. The cheese cloth had a consistent weave and thread size at that grade. Lower grade cloths had inconsistent wave and thread sizes so be careful with your ordering! It came in vast quantities, 1 have 18 sq feet of it, or enough to cover the entire board 3 times! Total cost £7.


The flow and folds and draping you see with actual nets is really tricky to replicate, mostly because any material available for use is going to have significantly thicker threads scale wise and those threads will have significantly more structural strength. This means the folds and droops have to be recreated through cuts, crimps and layers. I found cloth with thinner threads but this was with hexagonal holes and with non-absorbent/ plastic material. The cheese cloth had a consistent weave and thread size.


I started by cutting off a small piece of the cloth - avoiding creased bits - about 10cm by 10cm, easily bigger than the size I would need. I then soaked the square of the cloth in soft tone ink wash to give the cloth a browner rope colour. I followed that up with a brushed on military shade ink wash to give it a greenish tinge.


At this point we need to start thinking about how the net would be raised and suspended and how this would impact on the flow and lie of the net. Normally soldiers would have used poles or tree branches to raise the net, with the edges secured by guy lines or held down by "tent" pegs. At this stage though I concentrated on where the poles would be and simply imagined 4 of them in a rough rectangle at the corners of each of my gun pits.


I fashioned a frame from a single length of wire. This is used as a rough guide to form the netting over and I used the same frame for all 4 of the nets.



I used PVA to glue the cloth to the frame taking care to push down in the middle to simulate sag. Once the PVA dried I then bent the wire between each of the corner posts to shape the net and bent the cloth down the sides and put some folds in the corner where I imagined guy lines would be attached. The whole thing was then checked against the gun pit and the cloth was trimmed to fit more closely to the ground. I tried to cut the edges with curved cuts so that it would look more like pegged out nets so some thought needs to go into where you imagine you guy lines are going.


The either watered down PVA or scenic cement is brushed onto the cloth. This is likely to cause the PVA on the frame to reactivate but this is fine the cloth tends to still hold the shape. The frame Some more bending and crimping of the cloth may be required at this stage and I would check it a couple of times quickly against the model. Then it was given a light dusting of Woodlands Scenics Weeds fine turf to simulate the foliage and cloth weaved into the net. I tended to be sparing here as I wanted the netting weave to be visible but this is very much a personal taste kind of thing. I then lightly drape it back over the frame and leave to dry

Flock being added in stages.
Finished net in position. There is no frame under this.
Photo taken through the net showing flock from the underside

Once dry the glue holds the cloth in shape and support is unnecessary from a structural point of view. I crafted one net with supports using 0.5mm leather thread dipped in PVA to harden and then superglued in place as a test and it seems to work.


Ands that's that.







What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

 

Keep the dice rolling!

 

Charles the Modeller



God’s Own Scale Podcast Interview

The fantastic Sean Clark invited David Wasilewski and myself on to his show to talk about the All Hell Let Loose rules that David has just p...