O'er the Hills Early Peninsular War Scenario Book

O'er the Hills Early Peninsular War Scenario Book
Just click the banner if you would like to know more about the Kickstarter

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Talavera - New Table, Part Two


Last month I unveiled the northern end on the Talavera table and the construction needed to create the northern valley and the Cerros de Cascajal and Medellin.



Given I intended to play through the next two scenarios based on the northern sector, I created a bit of terrain construction space in the project plan to put together additional items needed which included the Pajar de Vergara gun redoubt, additional stream sections for the Portina, covered in my stream building tutorial, extra road sections and some more small olive style trees.


With the redoubt and streams covered off I decided to take advantage of the excellent April weather we are having in the south west this year to build some new roads, based on some bought versions I already had. 


Nothing very tricky here, just some cleaning cloths cut up into 50mm wide strips together with a couple of corner sections, covered in PVA based sealant that is put round bathroom tiles, mixed with a very fine sand to give a bit of texture. The sealant is already brown, but needed a touch of my emulsion, used on the stream sections to darken it down, and I ran my rut making device over each strip before they dried in the sun. The rut making device was simply three cocktail sticks taped together and drawn along through the sealant.

The roads dried very quickly in the afternoon sun
Below is a comparison on the left with my bought roads and my new home made strips. I went for a lighter static grass to tie in better with my mat and decided to jolly them up a bit with the added tufts and occasional grass in the middle of the road, a very familiar aspect of driving in Devon!




So with the bits and pieces constructed I thought it might be fun to get some of it on the table to get an idea of the final look, before it is graced with a shed load of troops.

The view of the southern section of the table looking north. The German Division deployed behind the trees on the right
You can now see the Portina stream running the length of the table on its way to the River Tagus and leaving the table nearest to camera through the outskirts of Talavera, with the first indications of enclosures and buildings.

The British right flank, with the extreme right showing the enclosures of the outskirts of Talavera occupied by Portago's division.
The Pajar can be seen as a small rise surmounted by the gun redoubt in a slight clearing amongst the trees, with the Talavera road leading off to the right heading up to Casa de Salinas.

The Pajar redoubt looking a bit sparse minus its gun crews, but will be a nice centre piece objective for this flank

The olives are placed in the neat lines often associated with their planting and give an impression of the broken terrain, with limited visibility, that the German Division and Portago's Spanish will have to cope with.

The open ground nearest to camera is where the Guards charged to far exposing Wellesley's centre
The picture above is the view south towards the British right flank as would have been seen by the French command on the Cerro de Cascajal, with the Pajar de Vergara in sight.

The view to the south from the foothills of the Sierra de Segurilla with Valdafuentes Farm nearest to camera

So the stage is set for the actors to take their call. I hope you can start to imagine the colour and pageantry with the two armies lined up facing each other. All projects should begin with the end clearly in mind, with a plan to get you there step by step. Today the Talavera project took a big step forward, and having the whole table set up is a huge incentive to get on with the painting.

The view south from the French lines with Cerro de Casacajal in the foreground
We will continue the journey through the scenario plan with the third and final play test of the Night Attack, before moving on to the Dawn Attack scenario. I then thought I might make two additions to the game plan by looking at doing a redux version of the Afternoon Attack and braking it into fights for the northern and southern ends of the table, which will suit players wanting to use a smaller collection of figures and fit perfectly into my build plan, and then we will do "Talavera Max" with the Afternoon Attack as a whole eventually playing all the scenarios and the final Afternoon Attack as a linked mini campaign with the results of each carried forward to the next.

The road to Talavera from Casa de Salinas

http://jjwargames.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/talavera-series-of-linked-battles.html

The outskirts of Talavera provides plenty of cover for its Spanish garrison
Also I am eagerly awaiting my new 6 x 4 foot terrain mat so I can take some games out on the road, and start with some scenarios at the Devon Wargames Group and later some show venues, which will give a chance to show the collection and C&G II in action. All part of sharing the love!

General Portago's view of the Pajar de Vergara redoubt and the roads in to Talavera

Next Up the 2/4th Grand Duchy of Warsaw Infantry Regiment

11 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Chasseur, you were up bright and early this morning. I'll put you down as one of the first people to see the view.
      Cheers
      JJ

      Delete
  2. Outstanding effort Sir! Can't wait to hear about the action - you mates are priviledged to play over such professional terrain!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sparker, that's very kind of you. When the terrain gets done, it all gets quite exciting. I am really looking forward to getting the toys out.
      Cheers
      JJ

      Delete
  3. Looking very good JJ. Looking forward to the battle report mate and all those lovely figures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carlo, thank you. You and me to. I get really excited to get on with things when I know I have a table waiting to play. Plenty to come this year.
      Cheers
      JJ

      Delete
  4. Great job. Your setup looks amazing and is a testimony in itself to your planning and artistry. Cant wait to see it with the troops battling it out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Adam, I'm glad you are enjoying the project. I have been thinking about doing Talavera ever since starting the first few steps to set up Rolica two and a half years ago. Once this game is done, Salamanca and Vittoria won't seem quite so formidable! A game this large will certainly be a test of game management. Great fun.
      Cheers
      JJ

      Delete
  5. its all very inspiring Jonathan, watching you put your battalions together and then get the terrainw finished off to, I wish I had your skill and devotion!
    Great job!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Paul, thank you. Well I reckon we all feed off each other in terms of inspiration and it was blogs like yours and seeing someone else producing great looking units in 18mm that finally got me to get my act together and get on with things.
      Thanks for your comment, I really appreciate it.
      JJ

      Delete
  6. This table is amazing, love the colors of the ground!

    ReplyDelete