Sunday, July 15, 2012

Portable Wargame Part 2: The Hills are Alive!

 Had a great time this weekend painting up some more units for my colonial "not quite Portable Wargame". I was able to get a unit of Punjab infantry done as well as a few stand of Pathan cavalry and some single leader figures for the Pathans so both sides now can use my "Heroic Action" rule I mentioned in the last post.

One thing I wanted to work on was more period specific terrain for the NW Frontier while still retaining the abstract quality of the Bob's Portable Wargame Rules. I felt that my cork hill layers needed to be a lot more precipitous if the table was going to look anything like the Northwest Frontier of India.

I remembered a really cool idea for dealing with steep hill terrain that was on the now immortal "Major General's" website (by far and away the best gaming site of all time IMHO...) So this evening I got to work cutting some crestline profiles out of the scrap cork leftover from making the hill layers...glued them together so they stand up and can be placed to make "impassable ridgelines"on the normal cork hill layers. I think these ridge-lines will be impassable to colonial troops but the Pathans will be able to cross them by using a two initiative points to cross to the other side...that would reflect their better knowledge of the terrain and their legendary agility on the high slopes. All the cork layers have a the 2 1/2" grid drawn on but because the cork is dark it is barely visible...which to my eyes is a good thing as the grid is just visible enough to locate units but not too bold to destroy the "look" of the table.
A large gathering of Afridi Pathans advance up the mountainous slopes to outflank the British
 The new terrain gives a nicely abstract impression of mountainous ridge-lines while being simple to construct, and helps to rough up the flat cork hill layers.
the Sikhs have their deadly work ahead...

Pathans gather at the foot of a large hill mass

mountains in the distance....

A new battle set up to be played tomorrow evening after work...I can't wait!

Pathans lie in wait...I need to dig up some Kipling in the meantime to get into the mood!...I remember something like:"Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
   An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.."


Bluebear Jeff said...

Might I suggest that while most sepoys (and the Brits, of course) are stymied by your "mountains" (which look great, by the way), the Gurkhas (being mountain folk themselves) might be capable of crossing them like the Pathans.

-- Jeff

tradgardmastare said...

Strangely enough I was fiddling away with glue,cardboard and wood trying to produce my version of similar hills for my own gaming this weekend too.
Excellent hills and set up too...

Ogilvie VC said...

Clever idea to turn the cork tiles on thier side.

Your humble opinion re the Major General's website is spot on...inspirational.

Ross Mac said...

Oh well done Sir! I often admired the Maj Gen's mountain silhouettes but never got anywhere near making any. Had to settle for 8" high styrofoam step hills.

Your mountains look just the ticket. I wish you much joy of the upcoming affair.

Fitz-Badger said...

I really like what you're doing with all this, the stands/units, the leader figures and the "heroic action", the new profile mountains, etc. Looks good and fun and of a size and simplicity that seems like it would appeal to many people (newcomers to wargaming/miniatures gaming, "old hands" who are strapped for resources, whether it's time or space or funds.