Thursday, 21 June 2012

Wargaming Borodino 2012 (3)

Preparing the Terrain, Part 1
At our most recent ANF session we forewent a game to spend the day working on our terrain for Borodino.

We had eight 1 200 x 1 200 mm2 sheets of foam to use to cover the 4 800 x 2 000 mm2 table. At first I envisaged that we’d cut them into 400 x 400 mm2 squares, but saner heads (i.e. Mark and Julian) prevailed and we decided to cover the area using four of the sheets as they were, while cutting the other four down to 1 200 x 800 mm2 rectangles; thus reducing the amount of cutting and less-than-perfect straight edges.
Our next decision was the extent and orientation of the map. Our ground scale of roughly 1 mm to 2 m gives us an area of about 9.6 x 4 km2. We orientated the table to run roughly north-east to south-west on the longest axis, so that it extends to take in the woods north-east of Gorki and stretches south-west from Utitsa. We’ll keep the table-top simple, representing only the key features.
Map of our Borodino tabletop
Having marked these on the foam sheets, we commenced by roughly painting on the base colours; green for the majority and red-brown for roads (we would have done blue for the Kolocha Stream, except that I forgot to bring the blue paint).

Step 1: marking on the roads and Kolocha Stream
Step 2: base colours painted on some of the sheets
We had a range of flocking materials (commercial flock, coffee grounds and dried tea leaves) in greens and browns, so sprinkled these on one of the sheets on which we had sprayed a dilute PVA spray. This gave a clumpy effect, so we made up a mix and then repeated the process for another two of the sheets.
Step 3: flocking
We got about half-way there before we ran out of paint and flock, so will finish it at our next session on 1st July.
Borodino terrain; about half-way there

We gave some of the troops troops preview and were happy with the result. 
Russian cuirassiers and French infantry testing the terrain (Mark and Julian’s figures)
A closer look at those Russian cuirassiers
Lifeguard cossacks (more of Mark’s great painting)
Three units of French légère (figures from P.T. Hine, one of our ‘benefactors”; scratch-built ‘duck’ (eagle) and touching up by yours truly)

Saxon heavy cavalry with the relevant page of the Histoire et Collections book “Borodino–The Moskva: The Battle for the Redoubts” as a backdrop

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

More Bicentennial Activities

While I compile a report about our latest games at the ANF—two versions of Bailén using two sets of rules—I have put some more links to bicentennial games that have been organised by wargames groups across the world on the Wargaming Waterloo 2015 blog.

Our own contribution to things bicentennial, and in particular 1812, will step up a notch this weekend. We are going to settle on our game map and begin to build the terrain for our Borodino game in September. There's a bit to do to cover the 4.8 m x 2 m table that we'll be using. Another enjoyable 'chore', like all those in our wonderful hobby!

In readiness for terrain-making: foam sheeting at ANF HQ