The Ministry of Works!

As some of you may realize from seeing our participation games at various shows, terrain making is part of my wargaming hobby.

It began back when we were going to launch Daisho at Salute. I had dabbled for years making terrain for Warhammer (Fantasy & 40K), but this was the first time I would show my work in public.

I look back on the Samurai village I made then and cringe, The houses were not awful, but they were certainly amateurish. Cardboard from Whiskas boxes and fences from coffee stirrers. The house were roofed with brush bristles to represent thatch.

Next to my board was one by our friend Billy. He had wisely bought 4Ground houses and fencing, added a buddha shrine and created an autumn-themed board. It was beautiful.

A couple of years later and it was the Blood Eagle launch. This time I made a board showing a small Norse village by a fjord. So, I purchased some 4Ground buildings and a plastic longship.

The board was plywood, 30″ (60cms) square, with a sheet of 5mm foam board, that had previously been an advertising board with a glossy dark blue finish, which represented the waters of the fjord. Note: the size of the board matches the width of standard event tables.

I covered about two thirds of the blue board with another layer of foam board which I painted and flocked.

I also built all the fencing (from match sticks and brush bristles), detailed the board with flock and rocks, added some barrels and trees.

For the first time I actually felt proud of my work, and it was the first board where event go’ers actually took pictures of it.

A year later we were launching IHMN Gothic, so I decided to create a Transylvanian village.  Between the two events I had discovered Dave Graffam and his marvellous print and build card designs. So, I built a dozen or so of his houses, created a heap of scatter terrain and constructed a new 30″ (60cms) plywood board.

Again, I used 5mm foam board to cover the plywood, and removed the top layer of paper where I wanted roads and paths. I wanted these to be cobbled, so hunted around for an easy way to do rough cobbling. Most methods seemed quite complex, so I created my own.

Standard, plastic ball point pens have a pen cap with a 2.5mm hole in the top to prevent suffocation if swallowed. Hold the pen like a dagger and rapidly stab the exposed foam in the areas you want cobbled. I painted the cobles black then dry-brushed with grey, green and a little white. In under an hour, I had all the board’s roads and paths done.

I was pleased with my board, and then I saw Billy’s effort. A board based upon High Gate cemetery in London, and guess which one all the photographers were drawn to… ho-hum, back to the drawing board.

So, two years pass and we’re back at Salute launching Thud & Blunder. I had spent the intervening time making medieval houses from mounting card, coffee stirrers, matchsticks, and filler. The roofs were individually tiled, and they lifted off to give figures access to the inside. I built a marketplace and bought tons of scatter terrain.

I had given up on boards as these were a pain to transport and had acquired one of Deep Cut’s lovely neoprene cobbled mats.

Of course, Billy turned up with a 4’x2′ (120x60cms) rocky ravine, with one side nearly 30″ (60cms) high. In the ravine were numerous small buildings and former bridge supports, criss-crossed with wooden walkways. I love Billy, but there are times I could pinch him 🙂

It should be said that over these years I have honed my craft. From cat food containers to bespoke and original pieces. Nowhere near the Terrain Tutor’s standard, but good enough for gaming.

Since then, I have received a 3D Printer as a birthday gift. It is a remarkable tool, and I have trial printed a couple of buildings from the Ulvheim range (free designs from Thingiverse). They are really quite beautiful, but when I did, I felt a pang of hobby guilt. Was this the end of my terrain building hobby?

No, it isn’t. I’m mostly using the printer to print off scatter terrain, doors, and windows. The latter are always fiddly to do, so I am glad I have this tool.

Anyway, this year we have launched IHMN 2nd edition, but Salute and Partizan, our favourite shows, have been pushed back to the Autumn, so what am I planning?

Well, over the next few weeks I am going to document how I intend to represent the Barony of Grand Fenwick, where two desperate companies shall compete to capture the Q-bomb.

I will create a brand-new layout, with buildings and other terrain pieces to represent this quaint little corner of old Europe (or Shepperton Studios).

So, keep your eyes peeled for there shall be articles on the blog, and pictures on Instagram.

I wonder what Billy’s doing…?

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The Walker

One of the many things that excite us is when someone creates a miniature figure specifically for our games.
We are not a miniatures company and do not have the resources to commission such work, so when our friend Duncan showed us this artwork, and then sculpted it we were flabberghasted!
You can find more of Duncan’s art right here:

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Wargames Illustrated Issue 401

If you care to obtain a copy of this illustrious publication you shall find a five-page article by yours truly on In Her Majesty’s Name Second Edition.

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A Brave New World!

It seems that we are finally embracing the 21st Century by setting up our own Instagram page. You can find it here

Not bad for an old fogie eh?

For those of you who want to become part of the Ministry’s Game-communities, we have active Facebook groups for each one. You can find them here:

IHMN [VSF/Steampunk]:

Thud & Blunder [Fantasy]:

Blood Eagle [Dark Ages/Early medieval]

Daisho [Samurai Japan]

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IHMN2 – an independent review by Wargames Illustrated

The folk at Wargames illustrated have conducted are view of the second edition in video and text form, which they call Splendid Steampunk Shenanigans!

You can find it here:

In Her Majesty’s Name

This review is a walk through the entire book, and touches on all the main elements of the game.

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Sir Tim Thompson’s Company Enumerator

It is with immense satisfaction that we announce the release of Sir Tim Thompson’s Company Enumerator.
Tim took up our challenge to the assembled host to improve the Company Cost Calculator, and he did, by some considerable margin.
This new calculator not only calculates figure and company costs, and presents them in a most pleasing manner, but also calculates the costs of Vehicles, Mechanized Walkers, and Creatures.
To assist the user there are comprehensive guidance notes and four fully completed examples for: the Society of Thule, Lord Curr’s Incorrigibles, the Servants of Ra, and the Royal Navy Landing Party.
You can find this device in the Game Materials section of the In Her Majesty’s Name page on this blog. Just scroll down below the cover picture.

If you have any comments, or your eagle eyes spot a small typo or two, let us know in the comments below, or engage with us directly on the IHMN Facebook page.

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Updates to IHMN2 Supporting Documents

In light of the small error in the cost calculator my PPS (Charles) has been through our other supporting documents and updated them.

He has also begun compiling an Errata document, which is thankfully quite short.

These can be found in the IHMN page of this site. Just scroll down to the bottom of the section on IHMN Second Edition.

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The IHMN2 Company Calculator

If you go to the In Her Majesty’s Name page of this site, and scroll down to the Games Materials section, you shall find that we have uploaded a spreadsheet named IHMN2 Company Cost Calculator.

This will allow you create or modify companies and get accurate figure and company costs. The sheet itself is mostly self explanatory and contains numerous comments to assist you.

For those of you who are masters of the spreadsheet art, who feel that they could do better, we encourage you to do so and please share the results of your work with the community 🙂

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A pause for thought

As you can imagine, with eight published books across five genres, I have played a fair few skirmish games. Add to this the other author’s skirmish games I have played, and I have been around the block a few times.
With all that experience one might expect me to be a masterful player. In fact nothing could be further from the truth, I lose far more often than I win, so what is going on here?
Well, let’s go back a bit, to the last century (that sounds very dramatic). When I first stumbled into wargaming it was nearly all historical. You lined up your carefully prepared armies, then went head to head with the intention of annihilating your opponent.
My armies were painstakingly engineered to win, squeezing very last drop of advantage from the rules and the army lists. I led my Anglo-Danes, Samurai, Yorkist War of the Roses and ACW Union forces to victory on many occasions. I did this for more than a decade, but eventually grew jaded by the whole experience. There was little creativity in my victories, it merely was an exercise in technical rules application.
When I looked around the club room I began to perceive that although there were game engineers like me getting some small satisfaction from our wins, at least half the players were disappointed, frustrated or downright miserable. They were ‘losers’.
It was a seminal moment.
I was also a roleplayer, having picked up D&D in ’76, and still play to this day. The attitude there is quite the opposite of that in traditional wargaming. It is about cooperation in creating a heroic narrative, guided by person who has created the world in which you play. I think that you can now see where both Charles (a fellow roleplayer) and my influences have come from for our skirmish games.
So, I no longer play to win at all costs. I play to exercise my little grey cells, enjoy the narrative I create with my friends, and for fun. I experiment with force combinations and fit-outs that have little chance of success, but explore the possibilities of a game. Thus I lose, a lot, and thoroughly enjoy doing so.
Welcome to narrative skirmish wargaming.

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IHMN2 Digital Edition!

We are pleased to announce that our good friend Sean of SnM Stuff now has the digital e-book edition of In Her Majesty’s Name Second Edition for sale on his Website.

As soon as he has hardback copies he shall be offering a bundle with the digital edition.

This has been crafted as a PDF so that it will work on all your devices. Within it, very single cross-reference and the contents pages are hyperlinked to make it easy to navigate.

The digital edition is half the price of the hardback book and comes with a further offer. The incredible digital sculptor Duncan Shadow Louca, sculpted two mechanized walkers for us. The STL files for 3D printing these amazing creation will be available for a limited period for those who wish them when they buy the digital edition.

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