Friday, 12 August 2011

Battlefield 3

Am literally counting down the days, until Battlefield 3 is released.

Was lucky enough to get an invitation to the Alpha test, and the finished game is bound to be exceptional. I can't share any footage from the Alpha test (the image above is from the offical EA site), but check out the link below, if you want to have a look at more images/official footage from the game:

I'm keen to look at incorporating some ideas from BF3, into my tabletop game, where possible, and may add to the existing set of Bad AR:SE rules, as a result. In the meantime, if you play on the xbox, feel free to come and claim my dogtags, in either BF:BC2, or the Nam version - i'm AKULAZED online.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

What it all Cost - Time & Money

Have had a few questions, at Salute, and also on Frothers, about how long the boards took to make. Its only a rough guess, but i'd estimate that the boards, plus buildings etc took approx. 100 hours to build/paint (obviously spread over a period of months).

Costwise, the project breakdown is as follows:

MDF boards - 12mm/6mm - £45
High Density Insulation foam - £20
Low Density polysterene - £20
Filler - £15
Woodglue - £25
Builders Sand - £5
Foamcard - £40
Plasticard - £30
Paint - £30
Wood Battens - £15
Wire Mesh - £5

TOTAL = £250

Monday, 18 April 2011

Salute 16th April - Photos from the games


We ran 3 games during the course of the day,with 4, 8, and then 10 players respectively. The first game was time limited to 45 minutes, with 2 squads of 4 soldiers per side, but in the event produced a complete wipeout within 40 minutes. As it was a convention game, we didn't use the respawn rules, to produce a decisive result, in a limited time.

Both sets of players quickly got into the spirit of things, with RPGs being used as anti-personnel weapons, and each teams wookies sniping from rooftops at maximum little effect. Once the Recon (Wokkies) switched to mortars, they had more of an impact, knocking off big chunks of exterior walls, of several buildings, and killing several of the opposing team.

Meanwhile, both sides Assault/Medics clashed at close range - resulting in a bloody, but clear victory for the Russian forces.

The first game had drawn quite a crowd, and the second game started with 4 squads per side (8 players in total). The game ran for an hour, and produced another bloody result, this time with heavy casualties on both sides, and another, albeit marginal win for the Russians. The T-90 tank, that started the day in the centre of the table, predictably attracted a flurry of RPGs, and mortar barrages, and soon went up in smoke.

The third, and final game of the day started with 10 squads (ie 5 players per side) - I hadn't planned on playing with more than 8 players in a game, but considering we had people willing to wait for more than 20 minutes beforehand, to ensure they got a place, it seemed only fair to make room - even then we ended up having to turn people away.

The final game also ran for an hour, again producing a decisive result, with the Americans losing both a humvee, and a M1A1 Abrams to mortar fire. Both sides also took dogtags, as players became more bold.

Although, clearly i'm bias, i'd suggest the rules worked well - producing a result, in each game. For a one off participation game, it worked well, setting a time limit, and having no respawn - the hour long games with 8/10 players produced 4 turns of action in each case, which meant that ammo expenditure was only just becoming a factor, when we finished. A slightly longer "club" game, would really see the additional rules for ammo/medic packs etc, really come into play, and respawn would encourage players to try some of the other pieces of kits (such C4, or mines) as they would be more comfortable with taking a few risks.

I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone from Frothers, that painted up additional squads/terrain, to bring along on the day, to the players for gaming in a good-natured way, and to Scott, (aka aliensurfer) for helping umpiring all three games!


Finally got some figures painted for the game - it only took me the best part of a year, given that the rest of the time was spent building the terrain, leaving me about an hour of painting time, which meant that, amongst others, I could paint the two recon troopers i'd started last year.

Both the Recon (aka "Wookies") are Sniper figures from TAG (The Assault Group) that i've covered in greenstuff.

Salute - Photos from the Setup

Thought you'd like to see the setup photos from Salute - the UK's largest tabletop Wargames Show - that was held at London Docklands Excel Convention Centre, on Saturday 16th April 2011.

More photos, and some game reports to follow.

Monday, 11 April 2011

All Set for Salute!


Well, at least as much as I want to get done before Salute (this coming Saturday). Its the sort of project where I will keep adding detail every time I play the game. I've intentionally left the doors off, for Salute, as too much detail may slow it unnecessarily, for a show game. i'd also like to add some roof detail, chimneys, TV aerials etc

Likewise, I will add some more buildings, so all of the templates are covered, but at least they are all covered for the convetion (albeit some with rubble templates).

Hopefully the "finished" table bears a passing resemblance to the Arica Harbor Deathmatch map.

I will be sure to take plenty of photos at Salute this weekend, with some game reports - plus the rules will shortly be available, from my blog, free to download, as a PDF.

Arica Harbour - Buildings (WIP) Part 11

I managed to finish the portacabins this weekend - painted, and given a light coat of satin varnish, before adding some grills for the windows.

Each section is detachable, so I can re-use the base (which has the stairs attached)

I also had time to make another rubble template, and add a bit of colour to the existing ones, as per the game.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

A Big Welcome to Followers of Kotaku

I would just like to say hello, to any Kotaku followers, viewing my blog for the first time.

I've been a wargamer for 25 years, and Battlefield Bad Company 2 is (one of) my current obsessions. When i'm not building terrain, for my tabletop wargames' projects, you can find me online on the xbox360, playing Battlefield Bad Company 2:Vietnam - if you play BF:BC2 on the 360, you've probably already had my dogtags, if not, then feel free to come and try and claim them - i'm "AKULAZED" on the xbox360.

My current tabletop project sprang from my enjoyment of the online game, so there is a good chance that I will have a go at building a Vietnam table, once Arica Harbor is complete - i'm already stocking up my ipod with plenty of 60's tunes!

The tabletop game will make its first appearence in public, at Salute, the UK's largest tabletop wargames show, in front of approximately 5000 gamers. As you will see, from the photo, above, its still a Work in Progress, as the majority of the buildings still need painting - more WIP photos can be found elsewhere on this blog page.

For regular followers, of my blog, in case you are wondering what is on kotaku, have a look at the link below:

At the time i'm typing this, it had already had over 16,000 viewings, so no pressure there then!

The game at Salute will be raising money for The Combat Stress Charity, the UK's leading charity specialising in the care of British Veterans suffering from psychological condition, related to their service career.

If you would like to make a small donation, you can do so, by going to my secure Justgiving page, by clicking on the Combat Stress logo, at the top right-hand corner of this web page.

Thanks again for your support!


Detailing (Pt 4)

The countdown towards the big game continues!

Salute, at London Docklands Excel, is on 16th April, and so i'm busy making final preparations. The rules are written, and ready to go (and will be available to download, for free, from my rules page, after Salute). Currently, i'm undercoating the buildings, which doesn't make for a very exciting photo (just look at the previous buildings WIPs, and imagine them covered in brown paint), so here instead is a photo of an electricity pylon.

Arica Harbor contains a number of pylons, which run along the outskirts of the map - given the limits of my table (8' x 4'), only one is present on tabletop. Its a plastic Hornby model railway kit, and stands approx 23cm tall when complete. Thats all for now - the next couple of weeks will see (fingers crossed) the completion of a project, that I started last July, so hopefully plenty more photos to follow, once its finished, and some game reports as well, from Salute.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Arica Harbour - Buildings (WIP) Part 10

Got some more portacabins built today - another couple to intact ones to represent the other pair in the construction site, plus a pair of damaged ones. As all of the cabins are detachable from the base, they are interchangeable, but i'll probably make another couple of damaged ones, if and when I have the time.

If you have played the Arica Harbour map, from the Battlefield Bad Company 2 game, hopefully it is beginning to look a bit familiar - the construction site board is almost ready, apart from painting the buildings, and making some chainlink fencing.

The blue skips (bottom righthand corner) are from Fenris Games. Still plan on making another couple of buildings, before I get on with the rest of the painting - i've got a rare day off work tommorrow, so fingers crossed will get more done then!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Arica Harbour - Buildings (WIP) Part 9

I wanted to have a go at making a portacabin model,as there are a couple situated in the building site. Unlike the other buildings, they can be damaged, but not completely destroyed, so a slightly different approach was needed. I have, therefore built the cabins themselves, separate from the actual base - the stairs are attached, meaning that I just need to swop over portacabins, when they get damaged - one hit effectively destroying the buildings walls, rather than the usual 4 hits, plus one to collapse.

The doorways are actually smaller than on the other building models 35mm vs 40mm, and the cabins are 100mm long, 40mm wide, and 50mm, in height.

This is just the test model, so I still have another to make, plus, of course, the damaged sections. The wooden internal frame not only keeps the plasticard from warping, but will be useful, when I make the damaged version.

Hopefully, beginning to look more like the game, than a pile of card - will finish the rest of the portacabins, and a couple more buildings, before I get on with the task of painting them - only FIVE more weeks to go, until Salute!

Trees & Bushes Pt2

Until now, i've had a few issues trying to find a way to represent the palm trees scattered around the town of Arica Harbour, as typically,the trees available look too fake.
I was therefore, very grateful, when eBob Miniatures allowed me to buy a few samples, of some trees they plan on selling - they are currentl available, from his webship, but will hopefully be soon, as the quality far surpasses anything else i've seen. The trees have been based up, by myself, and weighted down, to provide a degree of flexibility in how I position them.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Detailing (Pt 3)

Arica Harbor provides plenty of opportunity to add detail, to the table. Wrecked vehicles can provide vital cover, for soldiers, as they work their way up a street.
The wrecks are simply diecast toys, that have been roughed up a bit, base coated black, and then had various colours drybrushed over them - quick and easy to do.

Arica Harbour - Buildings (WIP) Part 8

Built a couple more single-storey buildings this weekend. They are smaller than the ones previously built (but on the same standard 6" bases) as they are meant to sit next to other buildings, and create an alleyway.
I will probably stick some magnets on the chimney stack, to help support the roof, when the walls have
been removed.

Still at least a couple more buildings to make, to fill all of the templates, before I start on painting them.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Arica Harbour - Vehicles Pt2

A couple more vehicles painted up for the game - they literally took about 5 minutes each, not including drying time, but should do the job.

First up, an Imprint Models Bradley

Next, an Imprint Models T-90 MBT

Both are resin 1:50 kits - very crisp castings, and easy to assemble.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Arica Harbour - Buildings (WIP) Part 7

I managed to pretty much complete two more buildings at the weekend - one double-storey, and one single storey - I just need to add some chimney pots to the roof, and paint the models.

The design is evolving slightly, as I learn what works best, for the model - in this case, the damaged areas of exterior wall, on the ground floor, will help to hold the upper exterior walls onto teh model, even if the ground floor walls have been destroyed.

The chimney/fireplaces are a useful design feature now, as they not only provide cover for figures inside the building, but also help to support the ceiling, and prevent building wobble.

If I have time, once all of the buildings are painted, I may add some additional detailing, but for now, I just need all of the basic models built, and painted, for the Salute game, on April 16th.

Hopefully the final photo gives an idea of how the town is beginning to develop - I still need more buildings, and less rubble templates, but it is on schedule for the mid-April deadline.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Arica Harbour - Buildings (Painting) Pt3

Managed to get the five rubble templates painted up today - a base coat of a dark brown, then areas of black, before drybrushing with the matt emulsion I used on the terrain boards.

Rough, and ready, but hopefully they look the part.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Arica Harbour - Buildings (WIP) Part 6

I went to the York wargames show this morning, with my son, and the sight of all those excellent games motivated me to step up a gear, on the Battlefield build. I managed to get the other two concrete shell buildings pretty much built, with just the steps to finish.
The table is beginning to take shape, although there are still plenty of building templates, still to fill. I've also started work on some more rubble templates, as "insurance" to make sure that all of the spaces are filled, before Salute - my thinking being, that I can built 3 or 4 of them, in the time it takes to make a single storey house model. The plan is still very much, to fill as much of the table with buildings, in which case i'll still need the rubble templates for the game.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Arica Harbour - Vehicles Pt1

I've started painting up some vehicles, for the game - in each instance I need a damaged version as well ..... ok, I don't "need" them, but I reckon it will improve the look of the game!

The humvees are 1/55th resin from Fenris Games - lovely castings, I would thoroughly recommend them (they also do a pickup version).

The Abrams tanks, are 1/56th diecasts from Hobbymaster - now sadly OOP, but you can still find them now and again, on the internet.

Thats all, for now - need to get back to work on the final draft of the rules, for the game, and of course making some more buildings.

Arica Harbour - Buildings (Painting) Pt2

Had time to splash some paint on another building today - the first of the concrete & girder partially built structures. As mentioned previously, these are indestructable in the BF:BC2 game, and so are made as a single, strudy piece.

Also started basing up some more "extras", and a few figures, ready for priming. So much to do....

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Arica Harbour - Buildings (Painting) Pt1

I'd started to get bored of staring at piles of white foamcard, and so decided to paint the first of the buildings today. Arica Harbour has plenty of different colour schemes, with a combination of greens, blues, and prevalent.
Before painting, I first sealed the remaining edges of foamcard, with a dab of polyfiller, which made the painting a bit easier to complete. I also applied watered down polyfiller to the exterior/interior walls, to provie some texture.

Between now, and then end of the project, i'm probably going to have to average a building a week, in order to finish on schedule.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Detailing (Pt 2)

Had a few minutes on my hands, while building parts were drying, and so stated on another piece of detailing - this time a refuse tip.

Unfortunately the people of Arica Harbour, have other things on their minds (such as two warring armies blowing big chunks out of their town), and so the rubbish pile is likely to grow in size, over time.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Arica Harbour - Buildings (WIP) Part 5

Now for some collapsed buildings. As previously mentioned, once the exterior walls have been destroyed, in Battlefield Bad Company 2, a building will suffer catastrophic collapse, killing anyone left in the building - I therefore needed to represent this on the tabletop.
Fortunately, all of the buildings fit on a standard 6" x 6" base, which means that I can use the collapsed bases interchangeably.

I'm using two basic methods - a "nest", and a "mound". The "nest" simply has an inner square, or nest of foamcard, to allow the added pieces to be positioned at an angle, and to provide a point, around which, the rest of the model can be built up.

The model is then coated with glue, and various grades of sand and stones to create the desired debris look.

The "mound" is again, very simple - i've used a high density polysterene core, and attached debris to it.

This method is less like the typical collapsed building, in the game, but provides some variety, and is also quick to make.

Overall, i'll probably need half a dozen of these for the game, so still more work to do.