A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Board Extension - Done!

Well it took a bit of fancy timing, with ducking and weaving, watching the World Cup games between coats of paint, but the new 28-inch extension to the battleboards has been duly collected and finished. As an option, I can now play a Commands & Colors game on a 17 hexes x 9 hexes field (over 30% bigger, as they would say in washing powder adverts), or use a similar enhancement in my non-hex plain boards if I deploy them the other way up.

The flank marker is shown as the triple dash marks at the left edge for the normal
13 x 9 game; the single dashes are the flank marker for the 17 x 9 game, with the
three sectors becoming respectively 5, 7 and 5 hexes wide
After 3 coats of the official Crested Moss shade, it became clear that the insert was never going to get to be quite the same colour as the original sections (it's the same paint - it's even the same tin, but the surface texture is slightly different), but it's near enough for jazz. In fact the photos make the difference a little more obvious than it looks when you're in the room with it.

This is just a hurried mock-up to check it works - for a battle, the table stands
in the middle of the room, so there's less space than there appears here
I still have to paint the backside of the new piece, to be honest, but there's no immediate rush for that. My war-games may not be better, but I have the option now of making them bigger.

By the way - in passing - I read that the forthcoming C&C Napoleonics expansion for double-width games is to be called La Grande Battle. What language is this, exactly? I have a good number of American friends, and I know for a fact that as a nation Americans are neither stupid nor ignorant, so why would GMT Games want to try to convince us all otherwise? Why not The Bloody Big Schlacht?

I guess it's a worthy successor to Guard du Corps - Franglais êtranglé strikes again. Come on, GMT - don't blight a good game with a crappy name.


  1. I think you're too kind to Americans by assuming that it's the word from the French dictionary pronounced grornd. Surely it's more likely to be the word from the Starbucks menu pronounced granday.

    1. I believe you may be right. A Scottish friend of mine worked as a college lecturer in the USA for some years - his specialist subject was European Culture, which rather surprises most of his friends, but offers plenty of scope, you would think.

      He enjoyed his experience very much, and it broadened his views a great deal. He said the most important things he learned were that, according to a majority of US college students:

      (1) WW2 was fought between, on the one side, the USA and, on the other, Europe and Japan. Europe and Japan finished in silver and bronze medal positions. Thus all modern American visitors to Europe should try to overlook the regrettable local eccentricities of language which European countries still insist upon - this is merely an indication of the extent to which they have not coped with change, and shows them to be (like illegal Mexican immigrants) inferior people.

      (2) Most importantly - "à la mode" is a French expression which means "with ice cream"

  2. Love the new board. I really can't understand how you have managed to do that so quickly. What is the secret of painting the hexes?



    1. Jay - the secret of getting it done so quickly is by neglecting other, more pressing matters! The trick of marking out the hexes is to use pre-laser-cut hex tiles the correct size to lay it out, then scribe with a pencil. The lines are just handpainted, but they look better if I make a feature of their being so - if I try to make them draughtsmanlike they look like a failure, if I daub them on without worrying too much they look bold and cheerful!

      Cheers - Tony

  3. Nice looking table extension - I'm very impressed with how sharp the hex lines are.

    1. Thank you, sir! In fact they aren't very sharp at all, but the eye sort of corrects them, so they seem better than they are! See reply to previous comment for the ugly truth...

  4. Just a minute - the same paint out of the same can must always be the same colour. How can the "surface texture" affect this?

    1. For some reason beyond my understanding, Blogger just ditched my detailed reply to your comment, so I'll ****ing try again.

      The old boards have been painted about 5 or 6 times - maybe 12-15 coats altogether. Thus the surface has built up a very smooth texture - it still has that knobbly relief which is recognisable in chipboard, but the surface itself is very smooth - you could try, but you could not scuff your knuckles on it. The new board has a rather more grainy, almost gritty texture, even after 3 coats of household emulsion.

      Thus I think you are correct - the actual colour will be the same. Yet the reflective quality is less, so that placed under an electric light the new board reflects the light less well and it appears a little darker.

      That is all I wish to say about that for the time being...

    2. Or the old paint could have faded under that fierce Scottish sun?

    3. O che crudele! - there's no need for that, now. Probably not the sun, no.

      Sunday was good here (that was 6th July) - all in the same afternoon we had hot sun, thunderstorms and - briefly - half-inch hailstones. By chance I was in the conservatory at my mother's house, which has a polycarb roof. I am hoping my hearing will recover by the end of the week.