Wednesday, 1 April 2020

What a Chap's Doing

I don't think I'm exactly in a "lockdown" routine, but I seem to be lining up things and getting them done. This morning I e-mailed out the Northamptonshire Battlefields Society newsletter for the last quarter. It was an odd edition to compile as mostly it covers the talks we've had (and we were one short last quarter) and reports on events and shows we've done or are going to do. Luckily the two talks we did have this quarter warranted extra page space, so I didn't have to be as ruthless in the edit as normal. I also sourced an article by Mike Ingram, our Chair, on how Northampton dealt with the plague in times past (the town locked its gates and didn't let in anyone from London). So that's a job well done.


I've tried to mix up what I've been doing, so I've been at the painting table and made a decent dent into my Peter Pig Montrose Scots lead pile. Here are some Highlanders. Got three more like this to do. Painting also means I can work through my backlog of podcasts, so "Hello to Jason Isaacs"

Next up are some Irish Regulars.These are quite nice figures. Very good detail and good clean castings. One more of these to go. NB I will do the Ensigns once I've finished all the painting, as I draw them on the PC and it's more cost effective just to do one sheet's worth at the end.

Then I did some lowland foot. The main difference to the Irish is they wear berets not helmets. I've already got a load of these in my Covenanter Army. One of those pikes will have a flag on it so I can tell them apart. A couple more of these to do.

 Finally some artillery. This is a standard sized saker type gun and a couple of the very light ones that come two to a packet. I've got another three of the big ones and another pair of the tiddlers. I did the small guns on half sized bases, - or rather infantry bases turned through 90 degrees.

On the rule writing front the Taiping Era writing up has started. I'm currently trying to put the organisation of Chinese units into a comprehensible paragraph or two to work with the rules. It is so much easier when I set up games just for me! As a distraction to the madness that is the Qing/Ch'ing dynasty military system I started work on the cover. It is in yellow, and the text is vermillion, as befits such an important document.

In tandem with this I'm also working with my oldest wargaming friend (other than my big brother) Derek, to produce a set of gladiator combat rules. Well, I say working with. He's doing all the game development and writing and I'm making clever comments and suggestions. But it is good to be doing this. We haven't written any rules together for nearly 40 years and life has meant we've ended up moving to different parts of the country, so on the positive side the lockdown has got us back in regular contact with the promise that we will get back together. The last game we had together was in 2013, and that's way too long. We're still not sure on a title for the rules. It's a dice based system, so I suggested "Dicing with Death", but he prefers something based around "Ludo". So the cover isn't exactly finished yet, and has a holding title on it. It's in imperial purple, of course.

Well, all of that should keep me busy for a while.



16 comments:

  1. Ooh ! those Gladiator rules look interesting , always on the look out for Gladiator rules .

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    1. Excellent. That makes one sale. They are quite clever and simple. I'd say "elegant", in fact.

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  2. I really like the Taiping Era cover.

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    1. That's good to hear as I think you're the only person who is going to buy them.

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  3. Yeah, I think it was only you and me who bought Ian's Tai Ping range.

    But, I'm hoping you will be pleasantly suprised.

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    1. Part of an exclusive club you and me, aren't we?

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  4. We are. Maybe Taiping Era will bring in a few new members.

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    1. Well, the Chile rules got a few people interested in 1879, so there's hope I guess.

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  5. I've been poking about on Jstor to see if I can improve my Taiping knowledge. It's early days yet and I've reached no firm view.

    It's said that the long term Taiping (best troops) were all given fire arms. Some of these were modern firearms. Some were damaged or obsolete pieces.

    The 3-less than 6 years veterans all had spears.

    Ditto the less experienced and new recruits.

    My take away from this is twofold.

    First it would mean no mixed whatnot and shot units.

    Units would be either high morale shot or veteran or regular spears.

    Are you picking this up too? And Do you buy it as a model for Taiping units?

    Good luck with the work.

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    1. I've been going back and re-reading my texts here and looking at a few memoirs on archive.org. My feeling is that the evidence isn't entirely consistent, but then it covers the whole Taiping period plus the armies operated autonomously so will have had differences.

      My initial feelings was that units were mixed, - the famous lithograph I've chosen for the cover clearly shows mixed units. In terms of the game system you can mix the types up in a unit, and a lot of mine are 50/50 firearms/spears. But then as all my units have the same uniforms I can turn them into 100% shot or spear as the mood takes me.

      The main mechanism in the rules is a unit's Moral Vigour, so it will be possible to mix that up within formations, although not within units.

      It isn't my intention to give hard and fast army lists but to give guidelines as to how armies should look. I expect to put in an appendix with the organisations, such as we know them.

      I really must get on with them, but the weather has been so nice the garden has come first these last few days.

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  6. All that makes sense as far as we can make sense of it all.

    The concepts underpinning the rules sound good and appropriate for the era. Nicely flexible too.

    The weather is glorious. Good luck with it all.

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    1. Thanks. There is a degree of abstraction that some may find a bit odd, and the core concepts are unique for a Divisional level+ table top game. I've made it possible for people to make their own decisions within the rules system re weapon type and mix. Unit sizes are generally four bases, representing about 500 men. That's a number of effectives in an actual unit that seems to keep turning up.

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  7. Bankinista certainly is a legend, although I knew by a different name in The Exiles (London), please pass on my warmest regards from a gamer he knew as Geordie

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    1. We were at Primary school together. I will pass on your best wishes when the time comes.

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    2. Tell him I remember his "Fish" game well!
      ;)

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    3. Not one I'm familiar with.

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