Thursday, March 30, 2017

Life on the Farm

Well now that I have these new outbuildings, I need to make sure my farm is in order. I will start with my AWI log cabin. This is more for the back country of South Carolina but could probably work for a poorer low country plantation or farm.

It is one of the Blue Moon FIW buildings. I really like how it turned out.

New Terrain has Arrived

I just got in my eBay purchases. I picked up an Atlas Barn and Corn Crib. The picture on the box looks nice but inside are lots of fiddly bits. I can't wait to start on it. Next up is a pair of Woodland Scenics stuff. A smokehouse and a chicken coop. Both seem to be made from lead and look simple to put together. I am probably wrong about that. Last up is a box from Busch containing a rabbit hutch and two dog houses. One dog house looks decidedly more 20th century than the other. But still should find some places on the table top. All of these can be used for either my AWI, ACW or Eastern Front games. I am looking forward to working on them.

I have decided how I will be basing them. I will use some scrap pieces of the tile that I used for the city blocks for my East Front Urban terrain. I will use come caulk and sand mixture for the base and have nice little add ons that I can drop in behind my existing houses. All in all, it should be very nice.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Change of Directions

So I started working on an old set of rule mods that I was working on for Kiss Me Hardy. It basically is for ships below the rate. KMH is a great set of rules that works really well for larger ships down to sixth rate frigates. But it treats all ships below the rate the same. So of course I want to play with small ships. Thus the rule mods.

I think I have the combat and defensive points worked out well enough. I chose 1/300th as the scale for the ships. Right now, I only know of a couple of vendors for this. First is Langton miniatures. Their range is beautiful is small. What they do have is lots of really tiny stuff. I have ordered a yawl and a couple of sailed ships boats to use for civilian ships and inshore work. Next up is Wartisan. These are more of a DIY ship but their range is large and beautiful. If you have some scratch building skills, their range is well worth it with the models only costing $5 per ship template. Lots of variety including most of the Great Lakes fleets for the American War of Independence. The ships look fantastic. They also have a free one for you to give it a try before you buy others. I don't have time yet to scratch build but I am going to do so at some point. Next up is Old Glory Shipyards. They have a limited range of smaller ships that are nice. They are priced less than Langton but still not cheap. Then there is Sea Dog Studios. I saved them for last because they were running a kickstarter that I backed but it fell through. However, they have finished several ships in this scale. They offered a backer bonus and sold some of their ships under priced. I picked up a brigantine and a pair of single masted flush decked sloops. This will give me a nice starter fleet to play with.

But that got me thinking about my 15mm stuff. I have a 6th rate frigate in 15mm that is at about 80% ready for the gaming table. Then a buddy of mine (darn you Brian :)) mentioned he has some pirates and ships in 15mm. Now I am off and surfing the web for pirates and 15mm ships. Sea Dog studios has 15mm ships as well as Thouroughbred miniatures. Peter Pig has pirate miniatures as does Rebel Miniatures. I am tempted to get a small pirate force and the PP government troops to serve as a Spanish garrison. I have a pack of govt troops already. I would either use sharp practice for this or maybe even try the Sea Dog studios rules. I will have to wait and see.

So glad I can stay focused on one project at a time. NOT!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Farming in Prussia

OK, I may have found something on Prussian farming. I found someone's geneology post about Prussian manor farms. This is fairly interesting stuff terrain wise. In his article, he is chasing down family members and where they lived. That is not so interesting. But he gives the typical layout of a Prussian manor farm which is interesting.

He claims that the manor farm layout was very similar across Western Prussia. This is obviously not Bohemia he is talking about but I need to start somewhere. The layout has the manor farm at one end of the village. A cross street that runs in front of the manor house and its associated barns. This connects to two parallel streets that house the villagers who fall into one of three groups: small farmers with hereditary tenure on the manorial land, farm servant laborers with an annual contract and day laborers. In addition to these would be inn keepers, breweres and other small industries that were created around the manor to support the local population and provide industry.

He gives a typical layout to look like this: (

Furthermore, he provides a specific example of such a manor based village, that of Dwor Zespole. The map provided is in Polish. Google translate and I are working our way through it. But this will give me the basis for my Prussian/Bohemian village that I will start to make - eventually. The actual example is a great find. It would cover a whole 6' x 4' table in 15mm with the various buildings. The manor house is not a huge complex. In fact it is a rather modest dwelling compared to some of the buildings in the village. I am thinking of making its base out of stone or so to set it apart from the other buildings.

The center area between the parallel roads is a common area for all the villagers to be able to use. The land behind the manor was its fields with its various crops and source of income for the estate. The worker houses had small gardens behind it and then fields further behind them for their own subsistence. The fields tended to be made out in long thin strips as the plows in use were heavy and hard to turn around. The small farmers tended to have a one to two room house with outbuildings. These are not defined but one can assume that there would be a privy of sorts, possibly a kitchen, some sort of smokehouse and a corn crib or the like. So not that different than their fellows in the AWI and ACW.

The manor house is called a "Gut". Many of those are unimpressive as they were houses the nobility built for the managers of one of many of their estates. The nobles would not live there but instead would have their hired managers living there to manage the estate and village.

Anyway, this gives me something to get started with.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Farming help needed

In reviewing my terrain needs for Sharp Practice, I thought about what buildings I really need.

I just accompanied my son's class to a historic farmstead from the 1820s. It provided the inspiration behind this train of thought. For both the American Revolution and the Civil War, I can reuse buildings. I have a couple of farmhouses. What I lack are the necessary outbuildings such as a corn crib, smokehouse, kitchen, chicken coop, barns and outhouses.

I found some of these on ebay in HO scale. It should provide for a nice add ones to the table. I also need gardens.

Next, I thought about my Napoleonic project. Here I am more at a loss for what a Spanish farmstead would have. Looking at what Rich has made, I am thinking of a windmill and an olive press. But beyond that I have no idea. Any suggestions?

Lastly, my Seven years war project. I have literally no clue where to begin. I was thinking of getting the Russian village from Terrains4games as a starting point. What I really want to model is a farm in Bohemia. I have tried google and failed. Any suggestions?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Rediscovering Projects

I am fully in the midst of a house move. While this is a painful and terrible ordeal, it has let me rediscover some things that I have been wanting to do.

First is a Seven Years War project for Sharp Practice. I found a painting tray that was loaded with everything I need for Freikorps von Mayr. It is the perfect sized force for SP2. The jaegers are already painted. I found some on ebay and snatched them up as I knew I would take forever in getting around to painting this army. The wonderful Kronoskaf website has all sorts of good information on the unit and where they operated. It seems that they attacked the town of Pilsen in Bohemia in 1757. This will be the basis of the campaign that I am planning.

The arrival of the hussars was not until after the actions in Pilsen, but I see that as no reason to hold me back from using them. After all, they are nice looking troops. One of the great items of the Kronoskaf sites is they have painting information for all of the units as well as color pictures for reference. This is really a bonus.

My opposing force will be the Anhalt Zerbst Infantry for no other reason than they are interesting. The unit has musketeers and grenadiers associated with it. They served the Austrian crown during the war. Anhalt Zerbst also raised a unit of Cuirassiers. The plan is to purchase painted troops from Gajo miniatures to speed up the process somewhat. I see the ANhalt Zerbst troops being more on a defensive footing. This should provide for some fun games.

What I completely lack for the imaginations project is terrain. I am planning on grabbing some of the Terrains4Games Prussian village sets to supplement this with one or two Gamecraft buildings to round things out. I will just need to figure out how to make thatched roofs. Then there is my Napoleonics efforts. First I have been buying some painted miniatures on eBay. I now have a full force of British and French to use. I am still awaiting the British cannon and both British and French limbers. What I lack for all of my SP2 forces are jump off points. They are something I really need to make. For my Napoleonics, I am working on a farm structure that has been on hold for a while until I move. It will be a walled compound with three buildings. I am looking to expand the terrain as I go and eventually have a town.

Lastly, I want to finish more WWII urban terrain. I have a great start from the Kharkov project but I have boxes of ruined buildings that are awaiting attention. Hopefully, once moved, I can get to work and start completing things instead of gathering them.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Campaign for Kharkov

I just want to say a big thank you to everyone that purchased a copy of the Campaign for Kharkov. Between Wargame Vault and the blog, I have sold just under 50 copies. Not too bad. I am calling it a success at this point. I have also sold a couple of hard copies on Amazon (more than the one I bought) so I am very happy with that. Kindle just does not seem to be a useful format for wargaming books, in my opinion. I think that a PDF or hard copy works better.

I am not sitting idle. I have picked up an old work in progress and am running with it. It is a Napoleonic Naval supplement for Kiss Me Hardy by the TooFatLardies. This will focus on small ship actions of vessels below the rate. The current rules are great but they do not provide enough differentiation between a 20 gun sloop of war and a 4 gun schooner. The rule modifications are done. It started as another AWI supplement focused on the South Carolina Navy but has grown to encompass more of the Age of Sail.

I would really like some help from any of you that have an interest in this to playtest. The concepts work in my head and what I have done on my table top but that does not mean that I have communicated them clearly. Any volunteers? Reach out to me on the contact box. I would appreciate it.

Lastly, Rich has my AWI SP2 supplement. It is in his hands and I anxiously await the verdict.

Thanks for reading.