Friday, 22 May 2020

Getting a little Chile

The whole War in the Pacific thing that ended up with me publishing "It's Getting a Bit Chile" was given impetus by me finding an actual range of 15mm figures to wargame the period.

I'm a 15mm bloke for this sort of period as it seems to give the best balance of size and detail in a game with rifled firearms, so that sorted me fine. Then I published the rules and people seemed to have an aversion to 15mm, or perhaps more of an affinity for another scale. So people said "I'd buy these rules but no one does figures in the scale I like". I then pointed out that you could use a mix of ACW/FPW and other European wars of reunification figures to cobble together some armies. A lot of this discussion took place on the Baccus 6mm forum, and then subsequently on the blog of a French wargamer who styles himself "L'Empereur bete et mechant". It seemed it was possible. L'Empereur wrote a blog about his thoughts and plans here, and then an update when he got the figures from Baccus here. The figures he chose as proxies were listed on the Baccus forum here.

But he wasn't the only one. Another, unconnected, French wargamer in 6mm, named Patrice Deffayet stole a march on him, and posted these pictures on the 19th century wargames Facebook group:

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Stunning. The flags are HAND PAINTED!!! I asked if hem inded me posting the photos of his work, and he consented. The man is both a genius and really nice like that.

So, in conclusion, it is possible to use other figures in other scales, and they can look awesome.

No excuses now, chaps, go out and get a copy of "It's Getting a Bit Chile". Only £14.99 from Amazon.

Monday, 18 May 2020

Next Project nearing finish line

My next lockdown project has been set of gladiator wargame rules.

What? I hear you say. Where did that come from? Good question. After publishing the battlefields book, I was intending to move straight on to the Taiping rules, but...

I got a chance to work on a set of rules with a really old friend, - my longest standing friend in the whole world in fact. We started to wargame together in Primary School, and although our paths have diverged, we've kept in touch. Alas we've not really been able to work on any games or rules together for a long time, but old Covid-19 has changed that.

A while back I got asked whether I had a set of gladiator rules ready for publication. The answer was I didn't. If you've followed my back catalogue of blogs you'll know that skirmish level games rarely feature (with the exception of "Musketeers on Ice", of course.) Any how, when my old chum and I started exchanging emails he let slip he'd done a set of sword fighting rules (the man took fencing seriously back in the day). I asked if he felt like doing a gladiatorial modification for them, which I'd publish through "Wargaming for Grown Ups Publications". The reply saying "You're on!" with outline modifications was back with me in an hour or so.

That was the end of March, so we've been to-ing and fro-ing for six weeks or so. We found a group of
play testers who were playing games online up in Sheffield, who were pleasingly enthusiastic. I even got out my old biscuit tin.

Apart from we're doing it by email, it's been like old times indeed. Derek and I were always on the same wave length when we were working on games and rules, and it seems that we still have that, even after over 40 years.

The rules really are quick play, and the combat mechanism is simple and elegant. Derek wanted to go with the name "Ludo", but apparently that's already been taken. As the combat system uses a handful of dice, with re-rolls based on skill level, we've gone for "Dicing with Death".

I think we have a final version, and that's just having a final read through as a pdf. Then we'll get some hard copy proofs later in the week, so hopefully in print mid-June at the latest. It'll be in colour, and available from Amazon, Wargamers Vault and also CP Models. Hopefully Mike will do some sort of deal with the rules and his awesome figures. It will include the trade mark Wargaming for Grown Ups diagrams so it's clear what is going on, and the well laid out and simple to read text. Not sure on exactly how much it'll cost yet, but it'll be less than "It's Getting a Bit Chile".

I hope some of you out there are as excited as I am about this.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Lochdown Lochabers

In between work on the new Battles of Northamptonshire book I've been working on (did I mention it? You can find out how to buy it from the Battlefield Society here: link, or if you think Bezos doesn't have enough money it's on Amazon here: link. Buy from us and not only do we make more money, but we'll get it in the post quicker too) I've been slugging my way through more tartan terrors. Oh how I hate painting tartan. I had enough of it last year with the Jacobites, this year's project is a Montrose Army in 15mm.

Any how, I've not finished yet, but I've got enough of them done to have some form of photo shoot for them. The figures are Peter Pig, my favourite 15mm fellows for this period.

Eventually I'll have 3 Irish Regiments/Brigades, ditto for Lowlanders and 6 clan units. Regular troops are 6 bases each of three figures, clan units are 3 bases each with four, but the bases are 30x30 instead of 30x15. I then have cavalry from my Covenanter box if needed, plus some artillery.

So far I've got two each of the regulars, and here they are in a line.

This is an Irish Brigade, with a pike base in the back rank looking the wrong way. Careless of me.

Another Irish unit. I found the flags on a blog, rather than draw them myself this time round. I did have to size them, however.

A lowland regiment, with a standard that dates from Jacobite times in lieu of knowing what it should look like.

Some Highlanders with basic saltires. The standard bearers are converted lochaber axe men, which seem to have worked okay. The Highlanders are nice, but Martin doesn't make any musketeers, something I'll need to deal with when I start rules writing. I think they'll count as having firearms regardless.

The Covenanters have been out before, but I put a few on the table to make up the photos. Here you see them clustered on a crest line. I am well provided with Covenanters, as I did enough to do Marston Moor.

The opposing sides were set up sort of in a Tippermuir setting, although I'm not happy with my pencil notes on this battle, so I need to revisit the scenario.

Oh, and here are some cavalry. Bit murky and drear.

I didn't exactly open up Shedquarters, but I did use it for the photo shoot. The light is usually better in there, and obviously the table and terrain are to hand.

In a way I'm trying not to think about playing wargames too much, as that's when I really start to miss it.

Hopefully I can knock off the other few units over the next week, then that project will be done. In the mean time I've a set of rules to get to print. Then I've got some WSS infantry from Strelets I'm looking forwards to getting to grips with. And another set of rules. Certainly keeping busy.