Saturday, December 13, 2014

Millin' around in 10mm Pike & Shotte

I always say there's no real Pike & Shotte wargame without a windmill stuck somewhere in a corner of the table. Dunno why, maybe it's because I'm Dutch, but in battles with pikes, big boots and wide-brimmed feathered hats there should be a windmill in the background. And I did not have one yet, so I decided to make one. 
The sails gave me the most food for thought. 10mm is a small scale and I really liked the squared structure of the sails to be there, as they are so iconic for a windmill. But how to make such a fine structure that would still be able to hold up against the rigors of gaming? 
Then I came upon the solution of a strip of flyscreen stuck to a narrow strip of plasticard (below) which turned out to be perfect! 

I decided to make the base and body of the mill from foamboard, which is easy, light and strong.

The top of the structure is a simple house-shaped box. Details would be added later through timbering. The roof was made from simple cardboard from the backing of a notepad.

The base is a square-footed pyramid. Slivers of wood (cut from coffee stirrers and such) were glued to the base to resemble timbering. The base was glued upon an old credit card.

The upper structure is mainly timber. Slivers of cut coffee stirrer were glued to the foamboard box....

...and cut to shape with clippers. 

I decided on a thatched roof made from a cheap towel (see below) glued on top of the cardboard roof and then the upper structure was glued (using a hot glue gun) to the base.

The same glue gun was used to attach the sails to a pin, which was then stuck into the upper structure. 

 And now the windmill starts to look like one. There is a door in the back with a stairs leading down.

Here are some 10mm Pendraken figures shown for scale.

And below there's the windmill painted. Sprayed black, highlighted dark brown, grey and light tan with some flock added to the base and the roof in some places.

And some bases painted in recent weeks shown for good measure. Cuirassier and Croat command bases....

...and a heavy gun

Sunday, December 7, 2014

More 10mm Pike & Shotte: Battle of Fleurus AAR

A few weeks ago we played the battle of Fleurus at the club. Our growing 10mm armies easily filled a medium table as the Catholic Spanish force clashed with the German Protestant army. Above the Protestant line of battle, classically made up of battalias in the center, ordnance up front and cavalry in reserve at the back.

Below the Spanish line, likewise deployed, only with their cavalry in classic fashion divided between the flanks.

On the right the Protestant Cavalry moves to the right wing in an attempt to
outweigh their Spanish counterparts there.
The Spanish did not counter the move, hoping to get the advantage where their cavalry would have the upper hand.

An overview of the entire battlefield.

Below Protestant Cavalry masses for the attack....

... while the infantry in the center awaits their moment. At this time the Spanish were advancing and Protestant guns were at play.

The Protestant gambit paid off. The Spanish failed to mount a coordinated attack on their right wing where their cavalry outnumbered the Germans and were stalled and driven back piecemeal. 

On the German right on the other hand the mass of German cavalry charged their Spanish counterparts and despite fierce resistance eventually overwhelmed and destroyed them. They then proceeded to threaten the Spanish tercios there who where obliged to withdraw into hedgehog formation. These in turn suffered terribly from Protestant guns and musket fire and were eventually broken by the attacking German infantry. On the left the Protestant still held on, but their fight was over: the Spanish broke and withdrew! 

A most unhistorical and convincing victory for the Protestant cause. Figures used were mostly 10mm Pendraken. Rules were Warlord Games' excellent Pike & Shotte rules. Great game and many thanks to Gerco, Ivo, Rob and Patrick for participating in it! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

PolderCon Program; now with more info!!

The program for PolderCon 2015 is filled to the brim with participation Games and workshops! Paying visitors of PolderCon can participate in all games and workshops free of further charge. Registering in advance is of course possible. But be in time! There is only a limited amount of seats to be had!

The first 100 subscribers will receive the soon-to-be-legendary PolderCon Goodie Bag!!

We will always confirm your registration with choice and time of your game and/or workshop. Registering for games or workshops is done by sending a message to:

Please indicate the events you want to attend.

The Games:

1. Black Powder, American War of Independence (Rebellion)

Guy Bowers hosts a series of introductory games, meant for those of you who will play Black Powder for the first time or since a long time.

In the afternoon there will be a BP Rebellion game based on the new expansion book . In this game Guy will show how the existing BP rules can be easily adapted to specific scenarios and historical situations.

These games will be in English.

2. Pike & Shotte

Grand Master historical Wargaming Gerco Blok will host a series of Pike &
Shotte games, revolving around the Battle of Venlo (1543).

Around 1500 the first firearms appear on the battlefield. They give unparalleled firepower to the infantry, but are still heavy and clumsy and slow to reload.  To keep the enemy at bay during loading, firearm-armed troops (the "shotte") are accompanied by pike-armed infantry. The cooperation between these two arms will last until about 1700, when the bayonet is invented and every infantryman can transform his rifle into a spear, making the pike obsolete and redundant It is the age in which the kings of England and France and the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire fight for supremacy in Europe. The Dutch Golden Age, but also an age of terrible wars of religion and the fall of kings.....

The Netherlands around 1500 are a patchwork of duchies, dioceses and independent counties. Through a marriage with the House of Burgundy the future Emperor has obtained a part of the Netherlands and casts a greedy eye upon the rest. The Duke of Gelre, disturbed by this, seeks aid with the arch-enemy of the Holy Roman Empire, the King of France. This is the start of 40 years of skirmishes, raids and battles that will become known as the Gelre Wars.

Fortunes keep changing every year until, in the summer of 1543 the troops of Gelre suffer a convincing defeat at the hands of the Germans in the Battle of Venlo and the Netherlands come under a central government for the first time in centuries.

3. Dropzone Commander

Game host extraordinaire Peter Schulein will guide you through these games. You do not want to miss his unique demo style, but the beautiful table alone will make it worth your while.

4. Across a Deadly Field, American Civil War

Arthur van der Ster will introduce you to this new ruleset and guide you across the deadly fields of the American Civil War. Experience this game on Arthur's beautiful gaming table!

5. Bolt Action WWII

The Battle Of Normandy: Operation Grouse 1944
August 9th 1944 the Allied troops started Operation Grouse: closing the net around the German troops in the Falaise pocket and taking the important roads in the area. In a thick morning fog the British advanced Eastward, swiftly encountering fierce resistance by the Germans around the village of Moncy.

This Bolt Action participation game teaches the basis rules of the game while pitting the British  “Armoured Guard division” and the “50th Northumbrian division” against “Panzergruppe West” supported by the “3rd Fallschirmjäger division” in a historical battle. Rules and tactics will be explained by an experienced  Bolt Action player and will give you a good feel of the game mechanics. So take control of these beautifully painted units on an attractive table simulating the area of the Moncy battlefield.

6.Chain of Command,

Experience this much-loved and much-debated ruleset under the guidance of seasoned wargamer Dick Bax who will lead you through the invasion of the Netherlands in the "Days of May" of 1940. German  Fallschirmjaeger will attempt the taking of air base Ypenburg near The Hague in order to enable a safe landing zone for the second wave of airborne troops.

If and when the air base is taken in time, these troops will advance on The Hague and may capture the Dutch government and Royal family. The defenders of the 3rd Battallion of Grenadiers must prevent this.

The game employs 20mm (1:72) figures of various brands as well as the Chain of Command rules by TooFatLardies.

7.Muskets & Tomahawks

Joop Wagemaker presents the much lauded game Muskets and Tomahawks by Studio Tomahawk.

The game has two sides, each played by three players with a group of combatants each.
One side is a British column advancing to reinforce a fort which has become under strength after a series of fierce French attacks. The other side plays the French and Indian forces preventing this from happening. On top of that, each player has a secret sub-plot to achieve.

8.Infinity, a science fiction miniatures combat game

The Spanish game “Infinity: The Game” by Corvus Belli is an established name by now. It is a tactical sci-fi shooter, where teams around 10 models must achieve various objectives. Infinity demands a pragmatic view on game situations and is not a “list building” game. The game has reached its third incarnation, which is better than ever. Infinity player and -connoisseur Henrik Becker is well versed to introduce you to this game and tell you all about it!

9. Batman Miniatures

Alternatively Henrik will host a Batman Miniatures game on his table. Are you a fan of the Dark Knight? Ever played the Arkham games? Then this is for you. The Batman Miniature Game made by Knight Models is the perfect tabletop recreation of the Batman universe. Try to make Gotham a little safer (as Batman and his helpers) or unsafer (as one of the colorful Bat-villains). A fast game that tactical as well as cinematic, Players use between 2 to 10 models each.

10. Across the Dead Earth

Erik Olsen shows you what the ruleset and figures are all about.

This game will most likely be conducted in English.

11. Hammerin Iron (American Civil War)

Do you want to play a less common game that will not be on any wargamer's shelves? Than try this battle with genuine American battleships of the American Civil War.


Always wanted to be John Wayne? Longing for those nostalgic good old movies where the hero wears a white hat? Would you like to step into the shoes of Wild Bill Hickok, reenact the movie Tombstone? It's all possible in Deadmans Hand. Come on Poldercon to this wild west town straight from Hollywood, where the fight between good and bad is still raging. Where the sheriffs are dueling the Desperadoes. Play the most exciting Hollywood Western Scenes under the inspiring leadership of Rob van Dorp with its perfectly painted models. It will be noisy in Deadmans hand. Good and bad are going to meet. The sheriffs are ready to maintain order, but the outlaws have other plans. Possibly the Stagecoach will be robbed (again), a hanging will be disturbed or an attempt be made to free a bandit out of his well-deserved cell. All under the watchful eye of the local funeral service. Come and be a part of the Wild West and sign up!

Oh and when registering, mention your length. It saves the undertaker time!

13. Pulp Alley, The Pulp Miniatures Game

Marijn Bierhof gets you acquainted with this unpredictable ruleset and his beautiful figures. Pulp Alley is a fast and dynamic skirmish game set in the 1930s. An adventure game in the spirit of ' Indiana Jones ', ' Rocketeer ' or ' Alan Quartermain '. Think of epic heroes, nefarious crooks, jungles, temples, snakes and especially a lot of action. In Pulp Alley you play a scenario with one to three other players, where everyone is trying to get the clues and treasures. Your hero and his partners will resolve many shootings and there will be many ' two fisted action '. The only question is who will be off at the end with the coveted treasure ...?

14. Star Trek Attack Wing

Join Juriaan van der Ster on board of fast and powerful spaceships, so well known from movies and TV and boldly game where no one has gamed before!

15. Witchfinder General

Hans Jacobs lets you hunt witches with this very nice and exciting skirmish game among his lovely home-made scenery.  Do 28 mm 17/18th century Witches, Wolves, Civilians, Pikemen and the like strike a nerve, then sign up for this game and battle the forces of Evil! Or Good, for that matter.

16. Saga, Crescent and Cross

Saga Grand Master Ivo Bleijenberg will lead you through this famous game by Studio Tomahawk in a 1 on 1 game of  Saga:  Crescent and Cross.

Free the Holy Land (from either the Heathens of the Infidels, depending on which side you favour) with this insanely popular game from Studio Tomahawk, well represented here!

17. Judge Dred 

Leo de Voogd, our prime Dreddhead, will present this new game by Warlord Games, based on the character of Judge Joe Dredd, straight from the British comic magazine 2000 AD.

Perps, beware! Justice is coming!

18. Ronin

Death may be light as a feather, but the dice weigh as much as stones sometimes. Osprey's game of samurai skirmish combat is demonstrated by Niek van der Laan. Expect katanas to kling and arrows to hiss among the cherry blossom trees. Unless those sounds are drowned in the thunder of the arquebus of course...

Ronin is a quick and innovative game for units of up to 10 miniatures in which several medieval Japanese troop types are featured. Samurai bushi, warior monks, travelling swordsmen and despicable bandits are all at your disposal.

19. Warhammer Ancient Battles

From the master of the Ancient War Game, Richard Evers, comes a spectacular and nostalgic re-acquaintance with the roots of warfare. Based on the out-of-production but still great ruleset of the great late Warhammer Historical you can marshall your maniples, warbands and phalanxes across the dusty expanses of ancient battlefields.

20. Kings of War 

Mantic's popular Fantasy Battle game to be sampled by you! Kings of war is a fantasy miniature game for 28 mm models written by Alessio Cavatore. Core aspects of the ruleset are simplicity, speed, easy to learn, hard to master. 

From evil undead to elite Elves there are 12 races at your disposal for play. The game enables small skirmishes as well as massive battles. Multiplayer games are easy to play because of the simplicity of the system. The rules are a free and up to date download. Winning a battle recquires tactical skill, skillful positioning and planning. Kings of War is very easy to get into for beginners and veterans alike. Interested! Join the game at Poldercon!


A. Freehand Painting & Non Metallic Metal (NMM) Painting
Maartje Giesbers and Pascal Rooze will host a Painting workshop Freehand Banner/shield  and a NMM workshop. After a short introduction and some theoretic foundations you, visitor, will amaze yourself by your own unsuspected painting skills under the expert guidance of Maartje and Pascal.

B. Make Yer Own Scenery (as cheap as possible)
Under the creative and stingy guidance of Jan Willem "Pijlie" van der Pijl this workshop shows how to make convincing scenery for your wargames table. We will create constructions from that most brilliant of modelling materials: foamboard!

Enhanced with simple resources and materials (i.e. leftovers and junk) you will construct a simple building for your own in a scale of your choice (10mm, 15mm or 28mm) . It is a workshop, so you will not be surprised that you will be  put to work to make something yourself!

C. How to play a Demo Game
Richard Clarke of Too Fat Lardies fame will give his opinion on "How to stage a good Participation / Demo game ?". Learn from a Master!  

D. Chain of Command Master Class
In the afternoon, the author of this popular set of rules, "Big" Richard Clarke himself, will give a live Master Class of “How to play a good game of Chain of Command” straight to the gaming table! 

E. And one more, to be announced.....

Saturday, November 1, 2014

We faced the 2014 Crisis....

...and lived to tell about it! 

Once more we, my son and his girl and yours truly, visited the largest and most enjoyable of all continental wargame shows, hosted by the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp: Crisis!

Under a clear blue sky in  most un-November like weather we waited in line until we could plunk down our entry fee in exchange for the traditional goodie bag, the free figure and a day of games and chat (and some minor shopping, of course). 

 Usually the goodie bag is emptied of the free figure (a rifle-wielding king Albert I this time) and discarded, since it is usually filled with well-meant but useless commercial advice. This year however the bag contained a veritable treasure of 5 plastic figures, a field-of-fire template, six laser-cut bases and a bag of crisps! And the Crisis Gazette, which I only viewed once back home to discover that it had held a most comprehensive map of the event. If only I'd known....

I had subscribed to the Battle of Keren Game by the Newark Irregulars. Having seen pictures from Salute of this game, I was very much looking forward to it. The table surpassed my greatest expectations! It was an absolutely smashing table, beautifully painted and about 1.80 meters high and filled with lovely figures. 

The game featured a climactic phase in the Battle of Keren, the fall of Fort Dologorodoc, taken by storm by British and Indian troops after a prolonged bombardment. We used the Chain of Command rules and the British launched a susprise attack up the hill while the Italian and Colonial troops were supposed to hold as long as possible. 

 The view downhill

Above you see Scrivs tirelessly explaining how this game came to be. 

 Below you see the view uphill. 

A tremendous amount of research and ingenuity went into building the Keren game. Everything you see here folds up so neatly it fits in the back of a Mini!

Here you see me on top of the mountain (the Italian player actually has to stand on a stool to be able to see his troops) directing my ever-dwindling Italian troops.

HOW many casualties you say you just scored?

And finally the British troops reached the summit, ending the game with my Italians still unbroken and fighting (if largely killed)! My sincere thanks to James and Scrivs for the privilege to play this magnificent game, that not only looks amazing, but delivers a thrilling game as well! 

After the Keren game I immersed myself in the chatting. gaming and shopping crowd. I met a fantastic array of tables, paintwork.

A magnificent steampunky winter landscape
Goblin Town from The Hobbit

An undisclosed Victorian display. 

Most of these pictures were taken by Annemarie and everyone who knows her, knows she loves her purple....

Next year I will built ten houses, sit in the Bring and Buy for an hour and sell them for insane prices. Then I will have more to spend than any other year before....

Vikings pillaging and burning (hopefully in the right order) a hapless Dark Age village

An impressive breach in Jerusalem's walls.. 

Freebooter once again made a great entry with this pirate table full of shipwrecks. It was unplayed at the time, a view I saw quite a lot actually. A lot of games either weren't particiation games or lacked players and/or hosts. Too bad, since there was a lot to be enjoyed playing the games.

Above to the right you can see what wide expanses you can build when you play small scales like 10 or 6mm.

 Above my son makes eyes at the impressive Deadzone table. 

Prodos also presented the prototype  of their Alien vs Predator game. 

I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will release the figures separately....
My son informed with the Prodos people whether they were planning to release the figures separately and it turns out they are!!!

Ohww Golly, where wil I get the money....?

Some paintwork defied belief, so well was it done. 

The illuminated demon idol and the Amazonian dragon below were just a few examples. 

And finally: Da Loot! 

I came away with the barest necessities this year: the 7TV ruleset with cards, dice and counters and the paranormal exterminators by Crooked Dice, Indians by Redoubt for my Roanoke Witchfinder General project, 10mm musketeers and swordsmen by Pendraken to fill out my TYW army, the B-Team by Foundry just for the heck of it and a Warlord German anti-tank gun to better kill Jasper's tanks next time. 

Many thanks to the boys and girls of the Tin Soldiers, who made this a fantastic day!!!