Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Putting the club on hold for the summer months

I am going to cancel the remaining meeting in June and put the club on hold for the summer months. During the interim, I will be attempting to increase the Facebook group's membership so that when the club reopens we can likely have a quorum.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Open tables and Saga at June 15 club meeting

Tomorrow night's club meeting will be open tables. Bring what you want to play. I will be bringing 3 Saga armies -- Welsh, Viking, and Norman.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

And no one else came

I want to thank Maurice and Leo for their support last night. No one else came. I was sure there would be some interest in the Lord of the Rings game, but none was shown. We have had 3 meetings now and only 1 new person has come. I have yet to give up on the belief that there is interest in a local wargames club. I must not be advertising the club nights in the right places -- physical and virtual.

I am placing flyers [1] in the libraries (SK, NK, & Warwick), coffee shops (Sweet Cakes, Baglez, Blue Bird), and online on Craigslist, Facebook, The Miniatures Pages, SK HS [2], and the club's (Google-able) web site.

So, are flyers the right way to raise awareness? Are the flyers themselves appealing? Are there other means and places to try? Is it me people are avoiding!? Please advise via comment or personal message.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Escape from Balin's tomb, a Lord of the Rings game at June 1 club meeting

Maurice Holmes will be gaming a Lord of the Rings scenario at the June 1 club meeting using the Games Workshop rules (see also Wikipedia's summary). Here is Maurice's scenario




“Now! Shouted Gandalf. “Now is the last chance. Run for it!”
(The Fellowship of the Ring – Page 340 – Houghton-Mifflin, 1965)

... they saw a vast roof far above their heads upheld by many mighty pillars of stone. Before them and on either side stretched a huge empty hall; its black walls, polished and smooth as glass, flashed and glittered. Three other entrances they saw, dark black arches: one straight before them eastwards, and one on either side.
(The Fellowship of the Ring – Page 328 – Houghton-Mifflin, 1965)


EVIL:   (430 Pts)
3 Moria Goblin Captains with Swords and Shields
16 Moria Goblins with bows
16 Moria Goblins with spears.
13 Moria Goblins with sword and spear.
1 Cave Troll

GOOD:  (745 Pts)
The Complete Fellowship. Gandalf, Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas, Gimli, Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin.

The Fellowship must flee from Balin's Tomb and through the great hall with the large pillars as an army of Goblin's pursues them from every side.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Fantasy Flight Games's X-Wing Miniatures Game

I was asked if we can play Fantasy Flight Games's X-Wing Miniatures Game at club nights. My answer is a resounding yes. I even have a starter box and a star mat that I will bring that to the next club night for those who need them. So, while the club is currently focused on historical gaming the club belongs to its members and so will include what they want. For example, right now I am putting together a mech faction for use in some not-so-far future engagement with TBD rules.

The only game I want to preclude is Warhammer 40K and that is only because the players already have several locations in RI to play -- the new store store in Cranston and the existing stores in Warwick, Pawtucket, and Attleboro (MA).

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Our first game night was a success

Our first game night was a success. I had expected just Leo and I to be there to welcome players, but in the end Maurice, Mo, and Joe also come. Here Mo and Joe are playing a Saga game (using lightened rules for new players).

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"I am not familiar with wargaming. Is this video games?"

A common question that arises as I have been promoting the club is

I am not familiar with wargaming. Is this video games?
Wargaming is, at its core, people playing with scale model soldiers on a scale model landscape using written rules set within an historical period. It is akin to boardgames with scale modeling. Seeing what it looks like in action is perhaps the best way to grasp what it is. So what does it look like?

This site provides a useful summary of the hobby and the professional variant that is practiced at The Naval War College just down the road in Newport, RI.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Preparing two more tables for May's Great Swamp Wargamers game night

Preparing two more tables tops for May's Great Swamp Wargamers game night. The table tops are 4'×3' hardboard glued and nailed on a framework made from 2"×1" pine boards. The edges are blue-taped to keep them clean until the terraforming is done. The terraforming is a simple process of

  1. Glue down any surface features. In this case, I am using "splinters" to give the appearance of deadfall found in a bog or forest floor.
  2. Paint the whole surface with an earth brown.
  3. Paint the surface features as needed. In this case a "wet" brown.
The remaining surface features are added in reverse order. That is, if you want daisies then put down the yellow flowers first, then add the grass, and finally add the dirt. The goal is that the items added first will absorb most of the glue so that when you get to step 8 what is on top will fall off.
  1. Using a spray bottle coat the entire surface with watered-down white glue -- about 1 part glue to 3 parts water. Use a spray bottle rather than a brush as it will apply a more even coating. A brush tends to leave ridges.
  2. Using a sieve apply a pattern of grass. When using Woodland Scenics's fine turf add some coarse turf to the sieve to slow the casting of the fine turf. If you don't do this then you tend to get mounds of turf rather than an even application. 
  3. Using a sieve apply to the remaining (non-grass) areas dirt. I use dirt from my yard that has been baked for an hour at 400° F to kill off the microbes. 
  4. When dry, turn the tabletop upside down and tap to remove excess grass and dirt.
  5. Finish with several applications of watered-down white glue or spray clear coat to fix the grass and dirt and make it resilient to playing on. I use a pressurized hand sprayer that is normally used for spraying insecticide. It can apply an even coat of the glue. The tabletop is noticeably wet after each spraying, but I do this outside on a warm day so that the glue drys before penetrating the hardboard.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Game nights Wednesday & Thursday, May 4 & 5 from 6 PM until 9 PM

We are starting a miniatures wargamers club in southern Rhode Island. Join us in early May to play a game and discuss what you would like to have in a wargames club. We are planning on having tables for a dark age skirmish game (Saga rules) and a wild west gun fight game (High Noon rules). If you would like to bring your own game or figures please do so. If you have models you want to showcase then bring them as well. If you are curious about miniature wargaming then join us. We look forward to meeting you all.

Our first meeting will be held over two evenings in the hopes you are free to come one of those nights. We will meet in Potter Hall, the assembly room of the one of the original RI state houses.

Kingston Free Library
2605 Kingstown Rd
South Kingstown, RI 02881

For further information go to or contact Andrew Gilmartin at or 401-441-2062.

If you can promote this event at your workspace or community center then please download and print this flyer.