Sunday, June 26, 2016

Its All In The Details...

I think a lot of wargamers have priorities, whether conscious or unconscious, about what we spend our money on. I think for a lot of us it goes - 1. Toy soldiers 2. Rules 3. Scenery 4. and then what I like to call "Embellishments".  I'd like to talk today about the benefits of these little models that when added to a gaming table bring it to life and help immerse a player in a game.

Embellishment models are pieces on the battlefield that don't add much or at all to the mechanical gameplay of the game. They just look interesting or give the battlefield a lived in look and by being present, they give a game story and context. Rather than fighting over an abandoned village or lonely wood, adding villagers or wild animals creates a greater sense of "reality" when they are added in - even if its just as spectators. Now your army fights to defend helpless villagers or prevents the burning of a lived in forest or provides an evenings entertainment for the townsfolk.

These pieces are usually inexpensive and don't take much time to paint up. They make awesome little breaks between big army or scenery projects and are place where you can really get creative. I know that there is always the pull to spend our hard earned cash on "important" models for our games, but I encourage anyone who wargames to give a little time to these types of models.

This past week, I finally got around to painting some lovely crypts/roadside shrines made by my buddy Rob over at Skull Forge Scenics. Full disclosure - Rob and I are longtime friends so that might color my views, but I have to say that these are some of the nicest resin pieces I've ever worked with. I tend to buy more resin buildings nowadays rather than making them myself, and Rob's small casting run really shines here compared to larger manufacturers. There was almost no cleaning required and the only assembly needed was adding the spikes on the top of the second shrine. I love me some one piece castings. Such a time saver!

I thought he'd designed these in CAD everything was so crisp.
I also cranked out some resin pieces I've been sitting on from a company in Poland, Ristul's Market. For about $20 I got a mess of crates, sacks and veggies in nice little vignettes.

Delicious and immersive!
I also collect as much little extras as I can to use as objectives when playing. These look so much nicer than tokens!

The well is by Tabletop World, the wagons are Gripping Beast (I think?) and the
civilians are removable so I can use them for games like Saga all the way up to Napoleonics.
These supply depots are mix of resin crates, Renendra plastic barrels and Tamiya plastic sand bags.

O-scale plastic railroad models can also make great additions to 28mm scenes. While slightly over-sized, O-scale models open up a huge range of stuff that just isn't made in 28mm and its usually dirt cheap to boot!

Piggies often make an appearance on my table. Either as scenery or moving objectives.
Cows make awesome obstacles or objectives in Dark Age time period games.
I also enjoy filling my battlefields with non-combatants. In some games, like Muskets & Tomahawks, these models serve very important purposes while in others they just add a ton of character to the board.

The dog is painted up to look like my own pooch.
Lots of manufactures make really nice civilians that will work in several time periods.
I try for a mix of social classes.
I always like putting this crew to work in a field on my boards.
Most wargames are huge sausage-fests. I always like getting some sensible ladies on the battlefield.
Never forget that ladies can bring the fight too!
All in all, these types of models are usually pretty cheap to pick up and quick to paint and add so much more than you'd think to games. Give it a go yourself!


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