Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Ole'MacDonald had a.....Farm?

Another exhausting day of building.  Today was not about quantity but instead about quality, as in details.  The focus today was the farm area that I worked on yesterday.  First thing was to finish the small corner section of bocage I left unfinished last night.  Next it was onto the crops themselves (pictured below).  These are comprised of a variety of Silphor products.  In the far left I used two colouration of soy beans.  In the upper right I used a third colour (Spring).  Under that (middle right) I used some fall coloured weeds.  Finally in the bottom section I used Alfalfa (Summer). 

Although subtle I did add some light track marks through the garden.  I did this with Vallejo paste.  As you can see in the pictures (Above and Below) there is debris floating around on the ground.  This is intentional. It gives the illusion that wind blows and pushes around the loose leaves.  You will see I use that technique in a few other locations.

Seams seams go away do not show up today.  Seams are everywhere - such is the nature when you build with tiles.  As you add things to each tile it becomes near impossible to keep them tight and snug.  Do not fret, this is not a huge concern as the eye will tend to go towards other more eye catching features.  As you will notice I tend to have the terrain elements running at angles other then 90 degrees.  I leaned long ago that wood acts imperfect ways so its best to mask the seams then to tole over having them align perfectly.

The overhead shot really illustrates the gamers perspective.  You can see at gaming level the seams blend and disappear.   This shot really gives you the idea I was trying to go for with this area of the board. Not all the areas will be busy, but I like to have "features" as I call them to catch the eye.

I looked at this pathway and thought it screamed to have a fence running down part of it, so I did. Then I took it a little further and ran it the lenght of the property.  I figured this guy (Ole'MacDonald) want to secure the entire farm.  I don't think the fence looks out of place - perhaps not the correct style, but nonetheless it looks the part.

Wanting to break up the ground, here I added some summer weed tuffs and scattered the leaves around for a little character.

Trees are magnetised in place and the fence sections round the bend (Above)

The orchard developed a character all on its own.  I took a few loose apples and attempted to secure them to the grass.  Its very difficult to keep all the flocks, static grass, and bits I use in the depth that I do secure to the board.  Luckily gravity helps to keep things down.  I expect a little grass to fall off, this is why I do multiple layers and I always send a repair pack with tiles.

I did some flowering bushes around the front of the house.  For this is used the Silphor flowering tuffs. I find they lack a little bulk, so I backed them with a piece of clump foliage to add to the look (Below)

Pictured (Above and Below) is tomorrows project.  Obviously I have bocage left to do.  You might be asking why I don't do that first as I often have in the past.  I find that by doing it after I flock the clump foliage picks up less static grass.  Eventually the foliage gets covered in a little static grass - its just nature - I think its call STATIC for a reason.  You might also notice the ground cover is different.  For now I will let you have a look at it.  Tomorrow I will focus on what makes up this ground cover, why its different, and how I went about applying it.  Until then just enjoy.


Tuesday, 27 December 2011

WIP...Update...Recap...Whatever you call it.

If you have followed me on twitter this week you will know that I have been posting about my toils with terrain (shawnmorris@theterrainguy).  The week has been up and down with progress.   I have had days where I worked all day and accomplished very little and then I have had days like today where I work all day and cap it off with finishing touches on a lot of little (and huge) projects.  Below are some images from the current project I am working on for a customer.  As per usual its a Flames of War (FOW) wargaming table.  This project is 6x5 (non-standard) that features a cliff overlooking the beach and water ways (not completed).  There are several other areas of interest on the board.  The focus on the past few days has been on the small apple orchard. However, the bulk and I mean bulk of the time has been spent pain staking on the cliff - each rock was cast and placed by hand to achieve just the right look.  I was pleased with the end result and I like it adds a lot to the project.  Previously I have decided to go with a precast foil - although it was actually more a plastic.  In the end I thought that the plastic left something to be desired and had a "fake" look about it.  What would have taken 10 min with the plastic took instead 26 hours.   Was it worth it?  You decide.  Enjoy the pics and please feel free to comment, I enjoy reading and responding.  More updates to follow, now that I have items worth photographing.

 (Above) An overview of the cliff - not pictured is the beach front.

(Below) A view of the outside board edge.  This is merely meant to give the board a finished look and complete the cliff face.

(Above) A close up look at one of the unfinished rock shelves.  This will later be home to a few trees.

(Below)  A dead end to the road. I had a road with no clear ending, so I decided to block it with a cliff.

(Above) Here is a beach view (minus the beach) looking up at the commanding Pak bunker.

(Below) An overhead shot of the nearly complete orchard - missing at the dropped apples.

(Above) A pathway shot of the through the orchard.

(Below) A view of the backside of the farm area.  Crop rows - but somethings missing?

 (Above)  Another angle from the backside of the farm

(Below) The winding pathways leading around the farm

(Above) The unfinished bocage sections - still needs ink and foliage.  Bridge is out!

(Below) WIP shots of the tiles - not in order just yet.

(Below) A view from the front of the orchard/farm area.  Details around buildings still incomplete.

 (Above) Just some of the supplies in use. Too numerous to list - but look for upcoming product spotlights

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Too close to the cliff face...sea sick?

After having a really productive day yesterday working on the massive cliff face for the new board I must have made myself sick because after a 12HR workday I was really sick last night and even sicker today.  I guess taking a day off, being Christmas and all, isn't the worse thing in the world.  Got to spend the day at home with wife and new puppy so all in all it was a great day.  I hope everyone else had a great holiday.
Look for some actual terrain related pics up tomorrow as I will post some before and after pics of the cliff face (for you guys and the customer).  Also accomplished some bocage base work, some bocage wire framework, and the preliminary stages of a roadway and orchard pathways using the vallejo paste (amazing product by the way).


Saturday, 24 December 2011

Now on Twitter?

Just got twitter - so you can now have almost up to the minute access on the current terrain project.


Please Follow Me!

2012 - The year of the Hungarians

I figured after having what I considered to be a successful Flames of War tournament year (7 wins, Best Opponent Award (Nationals), and a invite to Masters) I figured it would be an appropriate time to switch gears and try something new. After attending the masters and seeing Phillip Messier's Hungarian army I knew it would be a nice fit for me and my playing style.  If you know me, you know I play Germans exclusively.  The Hungarians although they can take German army elements are for all intensive purposes a new army to me.  This will be the first time I am running a Confident Trained army, and really the first time I will be using artillery that is not nebelwerfers (man I love those).  So the new year brings a new tournament season and for me a whole new learning curve, couple that with V3 release and its like I will be learning the game all over again (but not really).  I welcome the challenge and the new Hungarian lists that I will no doubt spend way to much time building and changing.  See below the first of many lists.

This is what the list looks like at 1575 LW

Rated: Confident Trained (unless noted)

HQ: CC and 2iC (Rifle teams)
P1: Onkentes Puskas Platoon (CMD, 9 Rifle Stands)
P2: Onkentes Puskas Platoon (CMD, 9 Rifle Stands)
P3: Onkentes Puskas Machine-Gun Platoon (CMD, 3 HMG's)
P4: Pioneer Platoon (CMD, 9 Rifle/MG stands, up to 2 Flame Throwers)
P5: Heavy Anti-Aircraft Platoon (CMD, 2 8.8cm Flak47's w/extra crew)
P6: Artillery Battery (CMD, Staff, Observer, 4 149mm 12/31M)
P7: Feldherrnhalle Panzer Platoon (3 Panzer IV/70 (V)) - Confident Veteran
P8: Rohamagyus Platoon (3 Hetzers)

Thursday, 22 December 2011

V3 - V2 - V3 - V2.....oh no the sky is falling!

Within hours of the announcement people all over the Internet are frantically posting their own thoughts and opinions about how Version 3 will change the game of Flames of War. I figured I would just write a small post expressing my thoughts even though its not terrain related. Please bare with me.

Personally, I am very excited about the release announcement of V3 (actually I can hardly wait) even more so because they are giving it out free to those that own the V2 hardback rule book. To be honest, I would pay for the book (happily) even if it wasn't free. You seldom hear me complain about anything BF does, even the prices I think for the most part I feel are really reasonable. Does this make me a fanboy, sure, if that's what you want to call it.

About V3. I think the game will be improved immensely through the introduction of the Version 3 rules. If you need evidence, look no further then the More Again Lessons From the Front posts on the FOW forums. I have always believed that if the rule clarifications are longer than the rulebook, you have an issue (or at least a point of concern). I don't know for sure but I feel Battlefront recongized that there was a need to fix things. I think the rules as written are fine, I would love to see changes to some things but I am OK with them. I am interested in V3 not for the rule changes on a whole, but more for the rule clarity. John Paul made a very interesting statement in the video he posted, he commented that the book would be full of diagrams. This is a much needed addition as I feel they leave less room for personal interpretations and do a better job of illustrating the intent of the rule.

Will Version 3 change the game? I think that there will be a learning curve to the new rule set, but I refuse to beleive the game we all love will be a completely "NEW" game. My thoughts behind V3 is that it was created to streamline the game, meant to improve the game play and help players enjoy the game with an improved sense of realism. I think we as players need to give the game a chance and reserve judgment. I read the forums, and I see a lot of people asking for changes, improvement, and clarifications. Guess what.....we just got it..(coming in February).


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

2011 US Masters Player Profile

2011 US Masters Player Profile: Shawn Morris

Flames Of War Logo 2011 US Masters Player Profiles:
Shawn Morris

In series of articles, we will be profiling the players who took part in the 2011 US Masters held in Philadelphia.

See all result from the 2011 US Masters here...
Player Profile
Name: Shawn Morris.
Hometown: Oromocto, New Brunswick, Canada.
Current city and state: Stony Rapids, Saskatchewan, Canada.

College or University: Bachelor of Science, Major in Biology, Minor in Anthropology, Minor in Chemistry.
Bachelor of Education, Major in Elementary/Middle School.
Favorite Movie:
Favorite Historical Period: World War II history without a doubt. Unless you count prehistoric history – in that case the Jurassic period. Love me some dinosaurs.Army Lists
Shawn's 1000 point Panzer Lehr...
Shawn's 1250 point Panzer Lehr...
Shawn's 1450 point Panzer Lehr...
Shawn's 1650 point Panzer Lehr...
Shawn's 1850 point Panzer Lehr...
Shawn's 2000 point Panzer Lehr...
Shawn Morris
Canadian Rankings HQ Statistics (as of 22/12/11)
Rank ID Number Points Movement Tournaments
1. 100630 299.0000 0 6
Tournament Results For the Last 12 Months
Tournament Name Location Number of Players Nation Placing Points Earnt
Flames Of War Masters United States 22 German 12 41.00
Dragons Den - 1500 LW Flames of War Event Canada 12 German 1 73.00
Flames of War - EW 600 Shoutout Event Canada 7 German 1 68.00
Dragons Den - 1000 point Late War - Nationals Qual Canada 14 Soviet 1 74.00
Skirmish 2011 Canada 14 German 3 63.43
Historicon Thursday I95 Open Tourney United States 36 German 12 66.67
Early War Nationals @ Historicon United States 55 German 12 80.00
FOW - Late War Doubles Canada 15 German 1 75.00
Flames of War - Nationals Qualifier - Dragons Den Canada 17 German 1 77.00
Player Interview
Battlefront: What is your favorite Flames Of War army to play?
Shawn Morris: My favorite Flames of War army to play are really anything German. I typically play the SS list with a primary focus on the infantry themed lists.
BF: Why?
SM: I really have always had an interest in the German army. I lived there as a kid and have been hooked on the German army history ever since. I do a lot of reading about the infantry and panzer tactics and I really like how you can (in some instances) use similar tactics in the game. I get a lot more out of the army and the game in general I find when I relate what I do to what I have read.
Below: Shawn's Panzer Lehr Panzergrenadierkompanie at the US Masters.
Shawn's Panzer Lehr Panzergrenadierkompanie at the US Masters
BF: What is your favorite Flames Of War time period?
Late-war, however as on late I am being swayed in the direction of early war. Really any Flames of War are interesting to me.
BF: Why?
I am not sure why I am drawn to late war so much, perhaps it is because I read the most about that period. I am not really a fan of the huge toys or really of tanks all that much. I am really more of an infantry player and that remains pretty consistent throughout the periods. I think it is more of case of me playing a period I got started with and what is popular in my area. Like I said, the Flames of War game I am most interested in….is the one I am playing at the time.
BF: What is your favorite World War II battle or operation? Why?
I have a real interest in the landings and immediate battles that took place off the beach. Hermanville is a place that was on real interest to me when I first got in the game so it holds a key place in my historical memory. It was also the subject of one of my earliest terrain pieces so it has significance on a more personal level as well.
BF: What is your favorite part of the hobby? (Painting, playing, historical research, collecting, assembling, etc.)
This should come as no surprise. My favorite aspect of the hobby is the terrain building that goes along with the game….shocker. I first got into the game through terrain making and I will continue to grow with the game as a terrain maker. Enhancing the game from a visual perspective has always been paramount to my gaming. If things look cool, or realistic then my level of enjoyment goes up tenfold. That not to say I cannot enjoy a game on a table with phone books and pop cans for terrain but it leaves me wanting in the end. I love the game and anything I can do to help others and I enjoy it just slightly more I will do it. For me that comes through terrain making.
BF: Why do you attend tournaments?
SM: For me I attend to simple get a game in. I live in a remote location in Northern Canada so for me to get a game in I have a 4 hour flight. I make the flight at least every other month for a tournament. I spend a lot of time and money to make events. I do it all for the enjoyment of the game and the interaction with other gamers. It takes a lot of dedication for me to make as many events as I do but I would not change my habits for anything. I have recently begun hitting events across the country and even down in the US. I figure if I got to fly anyway I might as well make a great trip out of it and get some gaming in. I really enjoy the social aspect of the game as well and getting to interact and chat with others about the game gives me insight into the hobby. Of course a big interest for me is hearing what others think of terrain and getting their opinions about what works well and what they would like to see changed. A lot these things come out in game play so it really allows for the information sharing to take place in a relevant situation – something often lost on the internet and forums.
Shawn's Panzer Lehr Panzergrenadierkompanie at the US Masters
BF: Your tournament mantra?
SM: Typically I preface every game with a simple explanation: “I am Canadian – Ah!” then people tend to take it easier on me. So far it has worked.
BF: What is your favorite type of tournament? (Points, theme, time period, style, etc.)
SM: I have only played in points based tournaments to this point so I will have to say…points based. Although I did like the doubles format, so that was fun as well and something I would like to play more of.
BF: What are some of the most competitive armies to play?
SM: I think anything with lots of tanks. I’m primarily an infantry player it is always a really hard fought game when you run into a tank horde. I think that there is lot of really competitive mechanized forces as well. Armored rifles come to mind and on the axis side I am particularly keen on the Panzer Lehr – both the mechanized infantry and the Reconnaissance Squadrons.
BF: What is your favorite platoon type?
SM: Infantry platoons are certainly my favorite type; I really enjoy the pioneer platoons.
Shawn's Panzer Lehr Panzergrenadierkompanie at the US Masters
BF: What are you general tactics that you use almost every game?
SM: I think offensively through a good defense.
BF: What army are you bringing to the Masters?
To be completely honest (at the time of writing this) I have no idea. I do know it will be an infantry based forced with heavy tank support and a sprinkling of smoking and reconnaissance units. However, as to which army in particular I am not certain. I have a strong feeling towards taken a pioneer army however, Lehr has a special place in my game and I could lean towards them in the end.
BF: Why?
SM: Why? Why not? Germans have always provided me with great success in the past and they are a blast to field win or lose. I feel comfortable with the stats and I know the limitations of the units. Germans have a certain flex to the armies that allows you to switch up tactics mid game and I really like that. I find I am never wanting with the German lists and for that reason they are my go to nation.
BF: What mission are you dreading the most?
For me its Hasty Assault simply because I have no played the mission at all. And/or attacking in Cauldron.
Shawn at the gaming tables
BF: What mission do you excel at the most?
My favorites are Hold The Line and Fighting Withdraw. I would not say I excel at them but they are the most enjoyable and allow me to play my style of game the best.
BF: What points level do you like and dislike based on your army selection? And why?
Despite not having my list nailed down just yet I am noticing that the lower levels are providing me with the greatest amount of difficulty. I believe that most German lists are going to struggle at the lower limits mainly due to cost of the units in the German lists. Germans tend to be a little heftier when it comes to point costs and certainly at the lower levels your points are hard to come by so you must ensure they are well spent. I do not think the Germans are overpriced; it is more of a matter of other armies getting cheaper options. I think the Germans begin to balance towards the mid to upper point levels.

Right: Shawn at the gaming tables.
BF: Is there a particular points and mission combo that you are really looking forward to seeing?
As the points near the mid ranges 1450, 1650 I think the lists I choose will be at peak performance particularly in a defensive mission in which I can defend from prepared positions.
BF: How do you think you will perform?
SM: I hate to make predications so I will just say this; “I predict I will have a great time.”

Last Updated On Thursday, December 22, 2011 by Blake at Battlefront

Blog V2.0

This is a post to let you all know I am back and blogging.  I have no idea what happened to the last Blog nor do I care.  I am here to stay this time and will make a pledge  that you will not no shortage of content to read and view in 2012.  Have a great Holiday Season and Happy New Year everyone.