Monday, 18 August 2014

The making of the BOYL14 siege game.

You've seen countless photos by now but I honestly can't believe you could appreciate the magnitude of the game unless you were there, unless you were playing even. Where do you even begin to describe a game of the magnitude of the BOYL14 Siege game? Initially meant to be a scenario involving the sallying froth of the defenders of Avalone against the Siege engines arrayed against them it rapidly developed into something on a much grander scale on the forum.

I think it may well be worth having a little look at all the work that went into putting this extravaganza on for so many people to enjoy.

When we arrived at the Foundry site midday on the Friday we discovered a Marquee which was unexpected. There were two massive tables, I didn't think to measure them they were massive. Given the cloths I put on them I would guess they were about 6' wide by 10 to 12' long. Unlike the vast majority of the foundry tables they were covered only by a grey green cloth not the usual foundry textured ground. Never mind all we needed was a large table because at the last minute I decided to bring both my green cloths along this covered just enough of the table to allow us a huge area of grassed land in front of the walls of Avalone and behind the walls the table stayed appropriately grey.

The field of battle, we have just finished setting up the terrain and the troops are being added.

Paul's fields and hedges.
Mr Rab's Tower.
Paul, Golfang1 on the forum, began filling the area outside the city with his fields, hedges hills and trees. He also added some siege works to the defenders side in front of the city walls. I added to this my own hills and a dirt road that I use for 15mm games, it served well enough as the road to Avalone. When Thantsants arrived he added more fields and farm steads to the mix and Mr Rab who turned up late was able to add a tower from his own lovely collection. A special addition to the setup was a stone wall.

This wall was horror of horrors unpainted, though it didn't look too bad in the bare grey metal. The reason for including was not only did it look great but it was contributed by Bryan himself. They were the masters for a never released set of stone walls that were to have come out at the same time as the Mighty Fortress.

The road to Avalone.
Harry's houses with Bryans wall in the background.
The city walls themselves were mainly my own, painted the day before, I got RSI drybrushing that lot. I included the small keep I had converted in the walls and had the breach I had also converted waiting to be used. Thantsants walls and gate were more than enough for us to add a gate house to the main entrance and an extra wing giving the wall a serious length to be exploited by the forces of Chaos. Again Bryan had left out the metal masters for the Mighty fortress and was a little disappointed we hadn't used it in the walls. My bad , I even explained it was because they were not painted. "Elitist", Bryan replied. Left me wondering if he used to game with bear lead back in the day, surely not?

More of Harry's houses.

Thantsants set of gates infront of my own providing the gate house.
 The houses inside the city were supplied by Harry, my Brother Snicket, Thantsants and myself along with the cobbles which were hypocritically unpainted. More on the source of these cheap and excellent cobbles another time.

My brothers Elven tower.

So there we have it Seven people contributed to the terrain alone for this game. I thought it looked awesome though a bit of me knows we can do better.


  1. It did look great but I know what you mean! I was kicking myself that I didn't bring my grass mat.

    I hadn't realised that Bryan had offered the use of the metal castle parts - could have been interesting as an even more magical section of the walls?!

    1. Yep I'm in two minds. The artifact itself was awesome, I think had I realised before we had put the walls out and the troops upon them I would have been persuaded just for Kudos sake well and out of respect for the awesome item. We did get the stone wall on though, I believe your troops interacted with it a fair bit.

      Really I just want to repeat the affair and do it less seat of the pants. I guess the only way to really organise it though would be to have fewer contributors of miniatures. The game would lose the social camaraderie of so many lead heads achieving their goal together however.

    2. Yep - most historical piece of linear terrain they've crossed!

      Fewer players would definitely mean a more focussed game but like you say the camaraderie would be lessened and that was definitely one of the game's selling points.

    3. I would definitely like to do a repeat of the siege, although hard to get people together for 3 days (or even 2 whole days) of gaming.

    4. Yep much harder though I'm hoping to use my 40th as an extra excuse ontop of BOYL16. I may be able to get the locals together for a couple of days then.

  2. Erny, I almost laughed off my chair when I realized you snuffed Bryan Ansell by not allowing any unpainted lead on the table! Brilliant! You are my level 25 hero!! But seriously, your post was a great run-through of the set-up of this most amazing siege game. You guys really did create something of great beauty and wonder. This will be a benchmark I think for all future siege games. I salute you!

    1. Yeah I felt a jerk after not including it. I think Bryan genuinely loves hanging around with us toy soldier obsessed saddos and he possibly felt we didn't appreciate the artifact. Nothing could be further from the truth of course, just another daft mistake in a history of many on my part!

      One day sir, perhaps to celibate the coming of all of our half centenaries all us big game enthusiasts shall have to get together mid way, perhaps Iceland and put on the greatest old lead bash the world has ever seen.

    2. Yes! Iceland in 10 years sounds like a plan! "The greatest old lead bash the world has ever seen", I love the sound of that! See you at the TGOLBTWHES 2024!

    3. You know I may just hold you to that.

  3. Don't forget the original steel Mighty Fortress was already built on the table when we arrived... and was relegated to the floor where it served as a paperweight for all the rulebooks!

    1. Shhhh! He doesn't have to hear about that!