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Author Topic: Project Western Front - "How hard can it be?"  (Read 498 times)

Offline N.C.S.E

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Project Western Front - "How hard can it be?"
« on: June 27, 2020, 08:31:12 AM »
After lurking too long it's time to (perhaps put a tad harshly): put up or shut up.

This is my Western Front project. This was caused by too much time spent looking at Sidney Roundwood's superb blog: "Roundwood's World". (it's a treasure trove, for those who want to empty their bank accounts on World War 1 - and latterly Louis XIV - adventures, here's the link: http://sidneyroundwood.blogspot.com/ )

Awesome as his stuff is, following his stuff to the letter isn't possible for me due to real life limitations of money, space and transport. As someone who's been more or less the youngest member of my local wargames club for the past 8 years or so, all those are at a premium in my life.

So - the objectives here are to create a WW1 set up that:

1. Is portable - preferably able to be carried by bike or with only me carrying things.
2. Is flexible - (I don't have to make 5000 terrain boards)
3. Is cheap(ish) - I'm paying a premium going 28mm but I want the personality, plus I do enough 15mm WW2 that I need the change.

The tragedy is I'm doing WW1 1916-18 - so packing enough terrain of some kind to cover an entire table is almost non-negotiable.

My ultimate objective is to run the second to last scenario in the TooFatLardies scenario book: "Stout Hearts and Iron Troopers" - namely the "Nemesis of the Stosstruppen". The scenario calls for perhaps 250 figures and 10 tanks - so maybe in 10 years time I'll have achieved it! I'm not even sure the Through the Mud and the Blood rules will be able to cope with the sheer amount of stuff on the table, but who the hay. If I have to rejig for Big Chain of Command then so be it.

As it is, my intermediate objectives are to work up through some of the scenarios in their "Play the Game" compendium, specifically the Passchendaele ones. They have the advantage of initially only requiring a platoon+ for each side and (ironically) not demanding as many trenches on account of the trenches sort of vanishing along with everything else into the mud.

The majority of my terrain will be cast in silicone moulds using Gypsum cement. Inevitably there'll be repeats on casts, but I'm working on the principle of "quantity has a quality all of its own". I'm hoping to develop my skills so that I can begin to offer either the moulds or the casts for sale. At some point I'll go through the whole rigmarole of doing all that e-commerce/website/whatever else. For the moment, this is a learning experience for me as I test out techniques and find the most efficient way to create trenches (Silicone RTV2 being not exactly cheap).

Progress so far:

(Figures - a few are six years old, the ones in photo are from North Star's Great War Miniatures)
(Tanks sat on a shelf for four years until I had to make the choice to either sell or finish. I almost sold but knew I'd regret it)
(Trenches are about six months old - They're heavy and use up a ton of silicone, I'm working on solutions that.)
("French Village" (aka craters) was finished yesterday)

(Note: I'd be grateful to anyone who could point me to the button that allows me to embed attachments in text :) )
« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 08:33:01 AM by N.C.S.E »

Offline Mad Gadgeteer

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Re: Project Western Front - "How hard can it be?"
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2020, 03:59:42 AM »
Roundwood's my WWI mini hero...  my WWI project has been tabled for years, guess I should try diving in, it's also late war.  Huge fan of the Great War Miniatures, wish they made French, so I'll probably go with Scarab for them.

Have you looked at tge Trenchworx tanks?  I was lucky to hook up with them when the were getting started on kick starter.

https://www.trenchworx.com/collections/world-war-i

Don't have the TFL rules, I've got the Warhammer books, guess I should look at theirs as well.
"May the dice of your God's roll like the breasts of your favorite concubine."  Graeme "Henry" Henderson, Dumfries c1980

Offline N.C.S.E

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  • Posts: 211
Re: Project Western Front - "How hard can it be?"
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2020, 12:30:55 PM »
I should've mentioned - those are both Trenchworx tanks. Hard to beat the flexibility of male/female/hermaphrodite in the same package. Wasn't really sure how well they were going until they just kind of "worked".

Scarab's WW1 figures are bigger and more "heroic" than Great War miniatures, but they look fine to me. The alternative are Brigade Games whose US postage just isn't economical for me in Australia.

Offline FifteensAway

  • Scatterbrained Genius
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Re: Project Western Front - "How hard can it be?"
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2020, 02:18:32 PM »
Had you not already gotten started in the Steroid Scale ( lol), I would suggest 10 mm as the solution to your dilemmas.  Smaller packages, less weight, more terrain (also less weight), etc.  Plus it is a variation from 15 mm (The Scale of Scales, of course ( lol lol)).

Offline N.C.S.E

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  • Posts: 211
Re: Project Western Front - "How hard can it be?"
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2020, 02:44:54 PM »
I'm my own worst enemy.  lol

Steroid scale (I like the name!) ultimately gives me a more satisfying painting experience - which since that's most of what I do in the hobby (the actual gaming part comes like 10th :P ), ultimately kept me in 28mm.


Offline Mad Gadgeteer

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  • Posts: 147
Re: Project Western Front - "How hard can it be?"
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2020, 04:44:46 PM »
I should've mentioned - those are both Trenchworx tanks. Hard to beat the flexibility of male/female/hermaphrodite in the same package. Wasn't really sure how well they were going until they just kind of "worked".

Scarab's WW1 figures are bigger and more "heroic" than Great War miniatures, but they look fine to me. The alternative are Brigade Games whose US postage just isn't economical for me in Australia.

That the reason I went weith them as well - flexibility.

Thanks for the reminder, keep forgetting about BG having a line of French.

Offline Mad Gadgeteer

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Re: Project Western Front - "How hard can it be?"
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2020, 05:09:09 PM »
Had you not already gotten started in the Steroid Scale ( lol), I would suggest 10 mm as the solution to your dilemmas.  Smaller packages, less weight, more terrain (also less weight), etc.  Plus it is a variation from 15 mm (The Scale of Scales, of course ( lol lol)).

I'm my own worst enemy.  lol

Same here...

Back in the day I use to be all about 15mm and 18mm AB Napoleonis.  In the early days of the internet - 1999/2000 to be exact - I came across a handfull of gamers on a forum developing and promoting a new set of rules called "Piquet".  On that forum I was the odd-man-out because everyone was gaming with 25/28mm.  To them, that scale was referred to as "the one true scale".  They would taunt me by saying such things as "come into the fold of the one true scale", or "bask in the glory of the one true scale".  It was all in good fun.

However - I had always wanted to game in 25/28mm, just kept saying "too expensive and not enough space".  At the time I was being brainwashed to "come unto the fold of the one true scale" we did purchase a bigger home and I was making more money than I was "back in the day", so I took the plung and have never looked back!

I know many out there would disagree with me, but I think 25/28mm is a perfect scale for WWI and Sidney Roundwood's site does a brilliant job explaining why.  So many eyewitness accounts of the war, as well as movies, tend to concentrate on the everyday, small scale actions that are more intimateviews of the bigger picture, if that makes sense.  To me, Roundwood's website evokes this beautifully.

Sorry... will step off the soap box now. 

Offline FifteensAway

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 3009
Re: Project Western Front - "How hard can it be?"
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2020, 12:26:57 AM »
No worries, while I am a long-standing tongue in cheek disciple of 15 mm (and/or 18 mm); the distinct 'available' advantage of larger scales is acquiring fewer figures.  In today's skirmish centric side of the hobby, that really stands out.  I have collected well over 32,000 15/18 mm figures and only a fraction of them are painted with a somewhat larger fraction primed and ready for paint - a respectable about 4,000/6,000 respectively.  But I would be happier if I had fewer figures with a higher percentage painted.  I keep trying to cross that bridge but not there yet - even adding one last period: German East Africa WWI.  But that's it! 

When I have more time, I will have to check out this vaunted site.  Always fun to check out focused, quality work, even for periods not of particular interest.

(I say 'available' because many folks fail and, like me, buy so much more than they will ever use.  Crazy hobby.  But I am having fun.)

Offline Mad Gadgeteer

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Re: Project Western Front - "How hard can it be?"
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2020, 12:56:51 AM »
(I say 'available' because many folks fail and, like me, buy so much more than they will ever use.  Crazy hobby.  But I am having fun.)

 lol  lol  lol

You just described me!!!

Sounds like you really have your hands full.

Offline N.C.S.E

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 211
Re: Project Western Front - "How hard can it be?"
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2020, 06:55:50 AM »

I know many out there would disagree with me, but I think 25/28mm is a perfect scale for WWI and Sidney Roundwood's site does a brilliant job explaining why.  So many eyewitness accounts of the war, as well as movies, tend to concentrate on the everyday, small scale actions that are more intimateviews of the bigger picture, if that makes sense.  To me, Roundwood's website evokes this beautifully.

Sorry... will step off the soap box now.

You're preaching to the converted. :P

As I noted in the OP - I really enjoy 15mm WW2 using Chain of Command. It's a great scale, flexible and does everything I need it to - but damn me but I want the humanity of 28mm, especially when the table is going to look like the moon!

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

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Re: Project Western Front - "How hard can it be?"
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2020, 12:50:32 PM »
Sorry (and this is by no means a criticism of your project), but I have to say that the one thing that puts me off WW1 gaming, particularly in the larger figures scales/sizes, is the "overground" trenches.  Trenches should be sunk into the playing surface, not mounted on top of it, otherwise you lose a good part of the correct "look" of the thing.  I can't really explain why, but my heart sinks when yet another manufacturer releases a "WW1 trench system" that sits up and begs.

I understand that it allows better use of existing terrain etc, and if it works for you, then fine - and your stuff is very good and obviously gives you great satisfaction, which is all one can ask.  There are very few things in wargaming that I just can't cope with, but this is one of them, I'm afraid.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2020, 12:54:06 PM by Baron von Wreckedoften »
No plan survives first contact with the dice.

 

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