Islands ahead Sir!

I previously wrote about making a sea board, and I’ve also written about making some large land tiles.  This post I’m going to talk about making islands; you might have seen these before in battle reports here on E270.  I had previously posted this article on my old Blog Castle By Moonlight, so if you think you’ve seen it before there, you’re correct!

Really, I wasn’t so creative as to have conjured the methods for making these from the air, I took the ideas from two places – the ideas for the forests were taken from this wonderful post over at the Spartan Games website.  The ideas for the islands were taken from the Dystopian Wars Australia group on Facebook (and I’ll henceforth refer to them as Lewis islands for that reason).

So, after reading both these posts I decided to make my own islands.  firstly I made a frame for the forest foliage, filled it with Woodland Scenics clump foliage, and liberally soaked it in PVA.

 

 

A nice mix of dark and light to add some variation.

I then purchased some cork tiles, and by a mixture of tearing them with my hands and pliers, and cutting them to have a bevelled edge with a craft knife, I had the following:

 

The islands in the foreground – a mixture of cut edges and torn edges –  the cut edges will be painted as the rest of the island, while the torn sections will be painted as rock.

 

For the sea rocks/mounts I glued several layers of cork together, and the tore and cut away at the sides until it looked more uniform.  In retrospect I’d have glued, then cut them away.  As they are they look like so many layers – and while some of this is ok, there is too much.

I had to decide how to manage the forests.  Being cork board I decided to use some small wood tacks – press them into the cork far enough to hold but not all the way through.

The flat top surfaces of the tacks would be a good base for the glue that would hold the foliage to the trunks.

An undercoat in black later:

 

The rocks were drybrushed in successively lighter layers of gray, from dark to light, and finally a very light drybrush of white.

 

 

 

The final coat of white really helps to delineate the edges and make the whole thing look better (in my opinion).

The islands on the other hand received a heavy coat of a rich dark brown:

I then drybrushed, heavily and progressively lighter with different shades of brown.  Finally a light flesh tone.  Of course – the rock was done the same as the rocks above.  Finally I added some static grass:

 

On the largest island here I left a large open area, eventually I’ll grab some Spartan town pieces to add there – just a manor house I think…

Finally I used some Woodland Scenics Hob-e-Tac glue – on top of each tack head.  Then once this had set sufficiently I pulled the foliage I had made earlier apart and pressed it onto the tack heads.  I tried to get some nice variation in tone across the islands, and I think they came up very nicely.

 

 

 

Well – that’s that for now.  Thanks to the guys on the Spartan forums and DW Australia for the inspiration!  I think my Lewis class islands came up well!  If you use a different approach or material for your island building I’d love to read about it – let me know, either as a comment here, via email (element270podcast@gmail.com) or on our Facebook group.

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Episode 9 – QandA with Derek and Neil

Welcome to episode 9 of the Element 270 podcast.

In this episode Giles, Peter and Reese are joined, for a question and answer session, by Derek Sinclair and Neil Fawcett.  We hope you enjoy!

You can find the episode here: http://element270.libsyn.com/element270-009-q-and-a-with-neil-and-derek

We love feedback – if you’d like to contact us you can email us at element270podcast@gmail.com

Follow us on twitter at @element270

or join our facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/element270/

Element 270 podcast, Episode 7 – Interview with Neil Fawcett on DW2.0

Welcome to episode 7 of the Element 270 podcast.  In this episode we are lucky enough to be again joined by Neil Fawcett of Spartan Games.

We discuss some of the big picture visions that led to Dystopian Wars 2.0, the design goals around what the new version of the rules will bring, as well as some other super sized stuff…

We hope you enjoy!

You can find the episode here: http://element270.libsyn.com/element270-007-interview-with-neil-fawcett-on-dystopian-wars-20 

or on our blog: https://element270.wordpress.com/

What are you looking most forward to with Dystopian Wars 2.0?

Element 270, Episode 6 – This is SPARTAN!!!

Welcome to episode 6 of the Element 270 Podcast.

 

In this episode (the first of a series of interviews leading into the launch of Dystopian Wars 2.0) we are joined by a very special guest to talk about Spartan Games. We discuss where Spartan came from, Uncharted Seas, Firestorm Armada, Dystopian Wars, Dystopian Legions, campaign systems, a role playing game and all sorts of future goodness.

 

Stay tuned for the outtakes!

 

We hope you enjoy!

 

http://element270.libsyn.com/element270-006-this-is-spartan

Episode 3 is up! Fleet Review Part 1

Episode 3 of the Element 270 podcast – Fleet Review…

Episode 3 – Fleet Review Part 1

In this episode Giles, Peter and Reese talk about the holidays, cover the news, including the releases of the Eclipse Company and Objectives sets, complete part one of our fleet review and answer some listener questions.

 

In Part 1 of our fleet review we briefly cover the 7 main fleets of Dystopian Wars, including play style, tactics and a short discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of each fleet.  In the fleet review we raise the issue of new and old rules – there are many fleet guides now available for download from the Spartan Downloads page: http://www.spartangames.co.uk/resources/downloads  Including the updates booklets for the Russian Coalition, the Republique of France and the Covenant of Antarctica.

 

We also discuss some listener questions, including where to find some extras for Dystopian Wars – http://www.litko.net/ and http://corseceng.com/ and of course – Spartan Games –

 

Find more at our blog: https://element270.wordpress.com/

Our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/element270/

On Twitter: @element270

 

Question for listeners: Does Giles use the word ‘fantastic’ or ‘brilliant’ more often… the jury is out!

 

Find our Hot Topic here: https://element270.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/hot-topic-for-episode-3/

2014

In their holiday epistle Spartan have flagged a slew of exciting releases, including a new mercenary faction for Dystopian Wars, objective markers and an event deck for Dystopian Wars.  The hardcover rule book, the Covenant, Russian and French armies for Dystopian Legions, and a bunch more for Firestorm Armada and Planetfall…

Exciting times!

http://www.spartangames.co.uk/happy-holidays

 

Personally I am especially excited about the objective markers and event deck for Dystopian Wars – something I hoped for when we recorded Episode 2 of the Element 270 podcast the other night (which will hopefully be up soon).

 

Cheers,

Giles.

Meadow of Mayhem…

Between the hills, and surrounded by small patches of broadleaf forest, lay the meadow.  A quiet place; good grazing land; peaceful.  Peaceful that was until the grizzled commander Piotr, general of the Covenant’s armoured battle group Seleucus, decided to stop running and turned to face the might of the Kingdom of Britannia.

Sealed orders had brought him this far, and his actions as a result had fired the anger of the British High Command.  He had hoped to meet the second detachment, or at worst, make the coast and escape, his mission accomplished, but the British had been quicker to respond than he had planned, and like a horde of bees had descended on him full of blind fury.  If he could beat them back here, he might be able to limp away and escape, if not… Field Commander Piotr had done his duty, and the orders he had satisfied would set more cogs spinning in the ever more deadly and complex machinery of international relations the Covenant were trying to steer.  Either way he would be successful, but he would rather taste the success back at home in Antarctica, than go to his grave knowing it done.

Rising from his oak chair at the head of the grand strategy table in his Archimedes class heavy walker he raised his flask silently.  Officers from across the battle group stood in accompaniment, raising theirs in response.  No words were required, all that could be said had been; only action remained.  He drained his flask, turned, and gazed out the bay windows across the meadows below.  Today would mark the ascendancy or the termination of a glittering career, alea jacta est.

*****

The Covenant line up... across the fields the armoured might of the Kingdom of Britannia roll into position...

The Covenant line up… across the fields the armoured might of the Kingdom of Britannia roll into position…

The Kingdom of Britannia bombards open fire, raining shells down on the Covenant Atticus walkers...

The Kingdom of Britannia Cromwell bombards open fire, raining shells down on the Covenant Atticus walkers…

Quick to respond, the Atticus walkers move into position and lay down fire on the Bombards. The first casualty is dealt.

Quick to respond, the Atticus walkers move into position and lay down fire on the Bombards. The first casualty is dealt.

Kingdom of Britannia Terrier tanks roll forward, dealing significant damage to the Covenant Atticus walkers, destroying one and crippling the others.

Kingdom of Britannia Terrier tanks roll forward, dealing significant damage to the Covenant Atticus walkers, destroying one and crippling the others.

A squadron of Xenophon class small walkers charge across the hill to engage the British Terriers.  On the broken ground one unit of Xenophons is wrecked.  The others manage to make it through and lay down fire on the Terriers...

A squadron of Xenophon class small walkers charge across the hill to engage the British Terriers. On the broken ground one unit of Xenophons is wrecked. The others manage to make it through and lay down fire on the Terriers…

On the flank, Kingdom of Britannia tiny fliers assault the second squadron of Atticus walkers... more wreckage litters the field.

On the flank, Kingdom of Britannia tiny fliers assault the second squadron of Atticus walkers… more wreckage litters the field.

With a squad of Terriers joining in, the Covenant left flank begins to crumble...

With a squad of Terriers joining in, the Covenant left flank begins to crumble…

The middle of the battle field is carnage, as shells are traded and the dead mount up...

The middle of the battle field is carnage, as shells are traded and the dead mount up…

A salvo from the British Cromwells causes a critical hit on one of the Covenant bombards... a sturginium flare erupts, destroying the model and teleporting into the hill ahead of the squadron.

A salvo from the British Cromwells causes a critical hit on one of the Covenant bombards… a sturginium flare erupts, destroying the model and teleporting into the hill ahead of the squadron.

Shells rain in from all sides... the Atticus and Xenophon walkers manage to wipe out the British Cromwell bombards, and lay waste to the terrier squadron.  The MkIIs finish off the Atticus in short order afterwards...

Shells rain in from all sides… the Atticus and Xenophon walkers manage to wipe out the British Cromwell bombards, and lay waste to the terrier squadron. The MkIIs finish off the Atticus in short order afterwards…

Photo 5-12-2013 11 56 28 pm

The center has become a killing field. More than 15 units have perished in the intense firefight…

The carnage across the board is intense.  Blows are traded on both sides and the balance of the engagement swings both ways.  On the left flank the British MKIIs move into position, and the Sovereign Class Landship hoves into view...

The carnage across the battlefield is intense. Blows are traded on both sides and the balance of the engagement swings both ways. On the left flank the British MKIIs move into position, and the Sovereign Class Landship hoves into view…

Suffering under heavy fire, crippled by damage from salvo after salvo, General Piotr of the Covenant of Antarctica decides on a last ditch assault, he commands the Archimedes Heavy walker to engage the unit of British MKIIs.  A barrage of cannon fire lays waste to most of the unit, but the last tank is engaged machine to machine, with the Covenant's giant walker trying vainly to tear the tank apart with it's claws.

Suffering under heavy fire, crippled by damage from salvo after salvo, General Piotr of the Covenant of Antarctica decides on a last ditch assault, he commands the Archimedes Heavy walker to engage the unit of British MKIIs. A barrage of cannon fire lays waste to most of the unit, but the last tank is engaged machine to machine, with the Covenant’s giant walker trying vainly to tear the tank apart with it’s claws.

This claw attack fails uselessly however, with the giant walker flailing like a power rangers villain, there are sparks aplenty... but little damage.

This claw attack fails uselessly however, with the giant walker flailing like a power rangers villain, there are sparks aplenty… but little damage.

With the Sovereign finally clearing the hill and bearing down on the Archimedes, with fire from every British unit within range, with aerial assaults from the last of the British tiny fliers, the Archimedes finally succumbs. General Piotr put up a valiant struggle, but in the end, and only by the narrowest of margins, the British win their revenge...

With the Sovereign finally clearing the hill and bearing down on the Archimedes, with fire from every British unit within range, with aerial assaults from the last of the British tiny fliers, the Archimedes finally succumbs.
General Piotr put up a valiant struggle, but in the end, and only by the narrowest of margins, the British win their revenge…

As the smoke begins to clear, it is obvious that losses have been significant and heavy on both sides... it was a close fought battle.  And the British won in the end.

As the smoke begins to clear, it is obvious that losses have been significant and heavy on both sides… it was a close fought battle. And the British won in the end.

*****

As an aside, this game was fought with a little less than what comes in the Armoured Battle Group boxes for both the British and the Covenant, and I have to write, that it was one of the best games I’ve played.

I wasn’t overly interested in the land side of the game, I have to be honest, but this one battle changed my perspective entirely.  In this game their was manoeuvring, damage, and destruction on an unprecedented scale, and it was fantastic. A great game!  Thanks Juzzo – hopefully next game my Covenant manage to pull across the line as victors!

 

Cheers,

Giles.

 

 

 

An Island in the Mist, Scenario 1

An old relay tower, crumbling on the shores in the middle of nowhere: once the base of operations for a small exploratory team, now just falling apart.  A sturginium storm off the coast two weeks ago reactivated the communications relays, and ever since, the station has been transmitting the final message sent from the exploratory team before they disappeared.

It concerns a dangerous area of the oceans, a permanent roiling fog, and within the fog a mysterious island…

**********

This scenario was designed to be played with two sides and three players.  The objective, a tower, would reward the player who held it while they held it.  The point of the tower was to create a focal point for the conflict.  The game was to be a mixed theatres game, with a naval core.  Some armoured forces would also be handy…

The two armies fighting this scenario were the French and the Covenant of Antarctica.

**********

An Island in the Mist... Scenario 1 **********

The Covenant of Antarctica reach within striking distance of the radio tower at the same time as the French...

The Covenant of Antarctica reach within striking distance of the communnications relay at the same time as the French…

Fearing that the intercepted message may have been picked up by more than one set of ears, the Covenant send a full battle group to recover what information they can…  Their fears were justified, as a combined land and naval fleet from the Republique of France are also attempting the same…

Wanting to secure the tower as quickly as possible, the land forces deploy and move into position.  A first foray from a squad of Atticus walkers comes under fire from the French... the first casualties are lost...

Wanting to secure the relay as quickly as possible, the land forces deploy and move into position. A first foray from a squad of Atticus walkers comes under fire from the French… the first casualties are lost…

The Bombards, with support from a squadron of recon planes, manages to lay some heavy fire down on the French carrier ship off the coast.  Serious damage is inflicted and billowing fires can be seen, even from this distance...

The Bombards, with support from a squadron of recon planes, manages to lay some heavy fire down on the French carrier ship off the coast. Serious damage is inflicted and billowing fires can be seen, even from this distance…

With the land units coming under sustained fire, the Covenant rush their big ships into the fray.  With enough concentrated fire power French support for their land forces could be nullified.  If the Covenant can claim enough water to control the coast, their land forces should be able to complete their mission and get what they need from the radio tower.

With the land units coming under sustained fire, the Covenant rush their big ships into the fray. With enough concentrated fire power French support for their land forces could be nullified. If the Covenant can claim enough water to control the coast, their land forces should be able to complete their mission and get what they need from the communications relay.

A squadron of dive bombers strike the French carrier causing massive damage.  The crippled French flag-ship is sunk off the coast!

A squadron of dive bombers strike the French carrier causing massive damage. The crippled French flag-ship is sunk off the coast!

Photo 4-12-2013 1 15 30 am (1)

Moving to allow its particle accelerator the range to tear through the French frigates, the Covenant Aristotle class battleship is also positioned to support the armoured forces with it’s big guns and broadsides…

Photo 4-12-2013 1 15 37 am

Meanwhile, on the land, the Covenant are coming under heavy and damaging fire as the French roll forward.

Having sustained significant losses, the French decide that caution is the better part of valour, and retreat.  This communications relay is but one of a chain, the exploratory team that was rumoured to have the co-ordinates for the island in the mist didn’t die here. More information may be found at the next tower in the chain, perhaps even a longitude and latitude…

This is but the first, there will be another day.

Cheers,

Giles.

(You can also find a .png of the scenario in the downloads section if you are interested)

Episode 1 – The Future

Episode 1 of the Element 270 Podcast is up, The Future…

Peter, Reese and Giles discuss recent news and releases, the future of Dystopian Wars, tournament organization, and answer some listener questions.

We talk about the Danes, the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth, as well as some the terrain releases from Spartan. We also cover what we hope to see from Dystopian Wars 2.0, and how the new Firestorm Armada releases might inform what we’ll see on that front. Peter talks about tournement organisation, and gives some tips and advice. Finally, we answer some listener questions.

Find us at our website: www.element270.wordpress.com
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/element270/
Or follow us on Twitter as: @Element270

Our Hot Topic for this episode is: Tiny Fliers – Game Winners or Game Wasters… join the discussion here: https://element270.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/episode-1-hot-topic-tiny-fliers/

You can find the episode here: http://element270.libsyn.com/webpage

Cheers,
Giles.

More on the Black Wolf…

Yesterday the Spartan Games Newsletter came out announcing a naval fleet box for the Black Wolf himself: Vladimir Nikanov.  But rather than write too much about it before even the stats are release – here are some more renders and information from Spartan…

Image

ImageImage

There are mentions of Drone Subs, Skimmers, TFTs and Ships – altogether a pretty amazing looking fleet.  The skimmers in the bottom render, with the Drone Subs lining the sides is an absolutely amazing model, both with the subs and the spiral of rockets!