Saturday, 8 July 2006

MayDay Battle Report

Warren recently posted some pics of his great Aeronef Terrain which he used at a convention demo he ran. I asked him for some more info:

"MayDay is an annual convention put on by a wargaming group in Edmonton, Canada, for the bulk of you who I’m sure have never heard of it. At this year’s event I put on an Aeronef game, featuring a selection of miniatures from Brigade Models. The game set a British Squadron against a German Squadron for control of their respective colonial holdings in Central Africa. The British force was centered around the carrier Athena, and the heavy cruisers Agamemnon and Hector, with a number of supporting destroyers and escorts. The German force was based on the dirigible battleship Rhineland and heavy cruiser Derfflinger, with a flotilla of light cruisers, Kolburg, Bremen and Nurnburg, in support.

The initial German deployment had the heavy guns of Rhineland and Derfflinger in the centre of the field, with the Kolburg flotilla on the left flank. For their part the British concentrate on the left, aiming to engage the German light cruisers first, before taking on the heavy German ships.

The British plan worked well in the early rounds of the battle, with the Germans having difficulty coordinating their manoeuvring between the slow moving dirigibles and their much fast nef cruisers. The opening exchanges definitely favoured the British and the German light cruisers, along with their accompanying patrol nefs, suffered badly. As the engagement progressed, the Germans were finally able to bring Rhineland and Derfflinger’s heavy guns into action. This added firepower started to turn the tide back from what had been shaping up to be a British route. Several rounds of pounding by the German ships gradually wore down the two British heavy cruisers, while the British were successful in heavily damaging the Derfflinger. By the end of the time period, the Hector had been sent crashing to earth, while both the Derfflinger and Agamemnon were severely damaged, and the Athena and Rhineland were largely undamaged.

Neither side was able to deliver a clear knock-out blow, but overall the British were able to inflict marginally more damage on their opponents so I gave them a slight victory. That being said, both forces would certainly be able to recover and have another go at it before dominance in the region could be decided. All and all I was quite happy with the way the game went, and I believe that all of players had a good time.
- This picture shows overall layout of the battlefield before the two respective forces arrived on the scene.
- Here are the initial set-ups of the two forces, with the German heavy ships in the centre and the light flotilla on the left flank. British forces concentrated against the German light cruisers, with the heavy cruisers Hector and Agamemnon in the lead, the carrier Athena hanging back from the frontlines.
- Fighters from Athena and the heavy cruisers move in to pound on the German light cruisers in the open stages of the battle, inflicting heavy damage on the outgunned Germans.
- Once the German heavy guns got into the action the British light nefs began to pull back, leaving Hector and Agamemnon to forge ahead alone and engage the Rhineland and Derfflinger"

I asked him speciifically about the great looking terrain, which really looks spectuacular I think.

"This is my first attempt at creating terrain for my growing Aeronef fleets, so there was some trial and error before I finally found a system that worked. From the start my goal was to create the illusion of the battle happening high above the ground, so the terrain was created to support that vision. As a result all of the terrain pieces are very low, barely more than two dimensional, with just enough height on each piece to show some depth, but without being tall enough to ruin the idea that it was all a very long way below. This approach has the added benefit of making it easy for all the ships to fly right over terrain features, the bases sit nicely on top of all the terrain without problem, so there is no issue with having to fly around terrain features, or move them doing the game to allow for ships to pass over top. The construction was actually quite simple, albeit a little time consuming. All of the fields, towns and forested areas are based on of all mats! I've found that they are great for basing things on because they don't have the same tendency to warp when they get wet I've found with cardstock or the like.

To create the, I first cut the beer mats into the desired shapes, roughly square for the fields and towns, and irregular shapes for the forests. I first coated all of the cut pieces with black primer, and then painted each with whatever base colour I or brown or yellow for the fields, green and brown for the towns, and green for the forests. At that point I flocked each area with the corresponding scenic ground covering, and for the towns I drybrushed a lighter brown over the dark brown base.

Once the bases were set for all the respective terrain types I added small elements of height to make the features stand out a little. For the fields I took small bits of scenic foliage and glued them down along the edges of the pieces themselves, and along the divisions between different coloured fields on the terrain piece, with the goal of simulating hedges. Along the exact same lines I covered all of the forest pieces with different shades of green scenic foliage.

The town pieces also received a scattering of scenic foliage, to represent hedges and trees and such. The buildings for the towns I made from 2mm square beads, with the string holes filled in. I had initially attempted to give the buildings peaked roofs, but in the end decided it was far too much work, and given their size it didn’t add much to the overall effect on the gaming table. The buildings were painted with a black base coat, then drybrushed over with white, and finished off with a red brick colour for the roofs."

Thanks very much Warren - great stuff!


Ogrefencer said...

I say, that terrain looks awfully good - I have been puzzling over the height issue myself dont you know, but you seem to have cracked it rather nicely. I must get my chap on the case, not offering to do it myself old boy.......;-)

Ogre (trying his hardest to sound like Michael Caine in Zulu.....and failing miserably!)

Tas said...

Chin Chin Old Boy!

MaksimSmelchak said...

These things happen... don't be so gloomy, mate!

Check out Socialist Super Mario Bros if you need something to be happy about...


Lord Icarus said...

Hello Chaps!

New to all this 'nef' malarky, but I have to admit that I'm rather hooked.

Can't wait for my 'boats' to arrive so I can set sail into the big blue!

Spiffing work - keep it up, old boy.


Lord Icarus

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!