Waterproof Garden Games Terrain?

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Tipped off by some blogposts about the delights of the “Home Aquarium” section of pet stores and garden centres, I recently popped into a Pets at Home branch and spotted a 3 for 2 offer (buy 3 get cheapest free).

I didn’t tell the checkout lady the truth when she asked about my non-existent fish and tank, that these weren’t destined for underwater fish usage but for the gaming table or out in the garden / yarden for gaming.

This offer and their reasonable asking price (6 pieces of terrain for around £30) made affordable what I think are sometimes overpriced pieces of potential games terrain. I understand  that it is not cheap to produce these if it has to be a certain type of safe resin and safe paint to protect the fish from chemical harm.

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The underwater Ewok village tree houses become a mysterious Asian jungle village and temple with the addition of some 20mm or OO/HO Airfix Gurkhas.
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Even bigger jungle tree house using 15mm Japanese Samurai figure (unknown maker,  from a job lot).

Some features like the old fishing boat seems Chinese or Japanese.

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35mm Heroscape Samurai figure in the Old Fishing Boat.

 

What I like about many of these generic buildings or features  are their versatile uses. They could equally grace a garden game and stay out in the rain  or appear on a games table.

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Rope bridge with Heroscape Samurai 35mm figures and hex tiles.

With some imagination, the rope bridge could be a vital but damaged rail bridge with a narrow piece of rail track across it. It could be in Southeast Asian Jungle or the Amazon, Darkest Africa or the Wild West. It could be built in many time zones. It works across different scales or sizes of figures.

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Front and back of the tree houses and front view of the four faced jungle temple.

Similarly the tree houses could be on Fantasy or alien planets, or in Darkest Africa or Asia in a Colonial campaign.

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Exploring the abandoned temple village:  “I don’t like it, Sergeant. It’s quiet. Too quiet …” Peter Laing 15mm Colonial British infantry.

All good Indiana Jones stuff.

A little bit of cutting and glueing work to put some balsa wood floors into the buildings should make them even more versatile. The cluttered temple floor might need some clearing or building up to be able put more figures inside.

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Airfix OO/HO Roman Archer (painted by me in the early 1980s) and the back wall of the Temple.

Once again 15mm Peter Laing figures seems to suit these buildings quite well, as well as Airfix OO/HO.

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More precious and now fragile Airfix OO/HO Romans which I painted with paper shields to replace those lost, as these were sometimes scarce figures in the 1980s.
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A surprise awaits these Airfix Germans pausing at this ruined Temple outcrop, somewhere in the Med, North Africa or Italy. Good rocky desert camouflage for these Airfix vehicles and the lovely original 1960s German and British 8th Army figures (version 1)

I was quite intrigued setting up future game scenarios how helpfully  camouflaged or painted the temple is for example when used with WW2 figures.  I haven’t done matt grunge khaki camo painting for over twenty years but I found a few things in  my surviving box of battered  Airfix vehicles.

These were painted up in the early 1980s for Donald Featherstone WW2 rules  (War Games 1962) and go quite well with these North Africa / Med / Middle East / Italy temple ruins. About time these had an airing on the games table with whatever I have left. WW2 Vehicle and camouflage scheme purists look away now!

 

 

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Camouflaged Sherman Tank (one of the useful sturdy Polythene premade type) and Airfix German and British Eighth Army infantry figures (1960s first  version). 
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Image colour faded to match the desert scenery and camouflage tones.  Battered German Airfix Tiger tank and Hanomag half track amongst the Temple ruins.

With my small  WW2 15mm Peter Laing force I can stage a few skirmishes. I have  A few spare German WW1 steel helmet infantry to  be painted up in Afrika Korps / desert camouflage to take on my WW2 British infantry.

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Peter Laing 15mm German WW1 steel helmet infantry in Desert camouflage.

These six aquarium buildings cost (after 3 for 2 discount) only around  £30 in total but they offer lots of interesting possibilities for scenarios in many time periods and scales.

Great fun for last weekend’s garden game.

 

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Yes that rope bridge is upside down – our quick weekend game in the garde using the aquarium buildings and Heroscape hex tiles and figures.

They certainly proved quick and fun terrain pieces in my recent weekend family game https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/heroscape-duelling-in-the-garden/

The Drowned World

Ever since gazing into those childhood fish tanks, I have long had  a bit of a fascination with the kitsch nature of aquarium ornaments. There is something suitably Gothic, melancholy, Romantic  (and Bronteish), out of reach or  abandoned about these drowned ruins and wrecks. In many cases it’s the plain surreal weirdness and lack of taste in some of the designs, they truly  are the garden gnomes of the aquarium world in their “love them or hate them” colourful and kitsch nature.

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My long lasting aquarium castle on the contested rockery battleground in a garden game last year 2016.

I have had one aquarium piece for years, a ruined castle frontage which was free or unwanted from a bundle of aquarium stuff that someone brought into work. It has  moved from house to house or garden to garden with me over many years.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN 24 June 2017.

 

 

 

Heroscape Duelling in the Garden

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The Heroscape Hex tile islands and Heroscape figures over a spotty grid sea of lovely sea blue oilcloth.

I stayed in the shade of the trees surrounding our garden during  the very hot and sunny Father’s Day  weekend. We raided several starter Heroscape packs for hex tile and figures for a knockabout duelling game  in the garden using versions of the Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust duelling rules.

Even the garden table cloth or white spotty oilcloth wanted to join in as a sort of hex sea between the hex islands.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/duelling-in-the-sandpit-lunge-cut-and-stop-thrust/

I’m not what many would call a fantasy gamer, despite my historical Imagi-Nations and the occasional 54mm Space based garden game. These Heroscape figures came prepainted with the very useful Heroscape plastic Hex tile ‘make your own 3D gameboard’ terrain system. So it seemed a shame not to use them occasionally.

Heroscape games system

If you’re not familiar with the Heroscape game and figures by MB / Hasbro, available secondhand online, visit the following sites

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/heroscape-duelling-figures/

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/11170/heroscape-master-set-rise-valkyrie

Extensive fan site: https://www.heroscapers.com/community/blog.php?u=2

amd a fulsome Wikipedia entry or two:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Heroscape_supplements

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/90725/so-youve-decided-buy-heroscape-primer-2011-update

On my sister blog I have featured more about these unusual or versatile Heroscape painted figures, despite their odd 35mm sizing.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/heroscape-duelling-figures/

The starter or master sets I had bought second-hand provided several interesting warrior groups:

  • Mech type robots  – Zettian Guards (not shown in photographs)
  • Samurai type figures – Izumi Samurai
  • Elite Airborne figures
  • Government type agents – Krav Maga agents
  • Viking type fantasy Ancient warriors
  • Marro scary aliens

Very soon as I and other family members chose Heroscape warrior squads to take each other on in individual duelling or melee bouts, we switched from the slower cards (Parry and Lunge, Stop-Thrust and Cut system) to the quicker d6 version suggested by Kaptain Kobold.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/more-duelling-inspiration-mexicans/

The games proved short and brutal, mostly involving fast melee, using the Kaptain Kobold modification or d6 dice version of Gerard De Gre’s Lunge Cut and Stop Thrust rules for melee or duelling.

1-2 Hit on Attacker (lose one point)

3 – Both Hit (lose one point each)

4 – Both  Miss

5-6 Hit on Defender (lose one point)

To simplify the rules, speed and  even things up between the different Heroscape tribes or clans, we declared all figures or weapons equal in melee and no ranged weapons. In that way a Mech Robot could be defeated by a Samurai or Viking.

Each character had 5 life or combat points (recorded on a dice next to them during combat) and could also only move 2 hexes, halved if moving uphill or through water.

The surviving or winning duellist gained an extra life or combat point when the other rival character was killed off. It quickly got fast, fatal and furious!

My FBI  X-Files team didn’t last long against the grim-faced Alien Marro figures. Warrior Mech Zettian Guards  fought Izumi Samurai and fantasy Vikings, then Elite Airborne figures.

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X Files type Government agents take on Elite WW2 Airborne …

Waterproof  Scenery?

This was also the first outing for some new aquarium ornament resin scenery picked up in a handy 3 for 2 ornaments sale at Pets at Home. A battered rope bridge, a jungle temple, two Ewok style tree houses with lush jungle foliage, a Greek or Roman ruined temple and a Chinese or Japanese fishing boat. All variously suitable for 15 to 40mm size figures.

I didn’t tell the checkout lady the truth when she asked about my non-existent fish and tank,  that these weren’t destined or bought for underwater fish usage but for the gaming table or out in the  garden / yarden for gaming! More on these in a future post.

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Japanese Samurai style warriors take on Fantasy Viking type figures around their Ruined Temple. Whoops – is that rope bridge upside down?
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Asian jungle temple, Chinese or Japanese type fishing boat and Samurai type Heroscape warriors.
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A good view of the new aquarium buildings on Heroscape hex islands.
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The scariest looking of the lot – these Marro type Aliens from the Heroscape starter set.

This proved a short fast knockabout game of the islands suitable for both young and old in the family.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN 21 June 2017.