Saturday, 16 December 2017

Some pre-year end musings

Blimey Charlies, half way through December. My Christmas list is done and sent off to Santy but there are no toy soldiers on it this year.

I'm sort of at a half way house or something at the moment. I've got a couple of small projects underway but I'm not working on anything that's really new to take to COW. Okay, so I've been fiddling with the "Taiping era" rules, but that's it.

The Taiping project is at a funny point. I got back into it because I fancied doing the French for the 1860 Opium War. This hit the bumpers in spectacular fashion (much as a painting project can be spectacular) as I recounted in the post from late June. The momentum has been partially salvaged by the purchase and construction of the two most recent wooden Chinese buildings, and the accompanying painting project. However I haven't recommitted my cash to replacing the Lancashire figures, and the wind has gone out of those particular sails. I'm also acutely aware that what I really need are a lot more Taipings, and I can't get motivated for that. It's just a chore painting figures just because I need them some time. And it is nagging at me that I should finish the Lancashire French and then buy them some European opponents.

The painting table at the moment has a few projects limping along. I'm still working my way through the bounty from the Hereward show. The pressure here is the commitment I gave to run a game at the Society of Ancients Battle Day. I really want to be sure I've got no ringers in the ranks, so I've painted another 4 or 5 phalangite units, and I've got another 3 that I need as a minimum to avoid having some hoplites or Carthaginians filling up the line. Alas I actually need another box of Macedonian Phalangites to get that done properly as I'd rather not use any figures that have the pikes levelled as they're just a nuisance once units hit each other. I've also been topping up my Macedonian Cavalry with another three units of them done and two more in the pipeline. And some light cavalry from the Persian boxes wouldn't go amiss. Oh, and I think my Persian medium cavalry needs strengthening as those Successor armies have a bit of everything in them, don't they.

These plastics have supplanted my El Cid plastic project for a few months. That's also because I'm having doubts about army composition, and I'm not sure I'm not just painting figures because I've got them. There's also the issue of needed to convert  figures to crossbow men, as the Hat boxes simply don't have enough.

Which then leaves me with Edgcote. This is a project to produce a 28mm game using Wargames Foundry figures. I have a big bag of them in the corner of the room.

These were given to the Northamptonshire Battlefields Society by WF in exchange for a few books, which is a good deal if you want a pile of 28mm Wars of the Roses figures.

Phil & I are painting them between us and we have a not fully defined timescale. That means I just pull packets out of the pile from time to time and do a batch of a dozen figures. Phil is doing the basing once we've sorted them all. However seem to need some cavalry, which we don't have at the moment.

This is a bit of an odd thing for me as I can't recall doing a joint project before, - at least not since I was 11 or 12, probably - and knowing I don't have full artistic control is a bit odd. Sometimes it is  liberating and sometimes it isn't. Normally for a project I set an end date, put my head down and go for it. I'm having to learn some new habits for this, which I think should be good for me.


  1. Groups projects can be great fun and inspiring as long as everyone involved has the same level of commitment. Otherwise, they can be disappointing. I have experienced both.

    1. We will finish this one, no worries. I'm sort of the hired help on this one and I'm normally used to calling all the shots. It won't do me any harm to keep my ego under control for a while.

    2. Don’t keep your ego under leash for too long.

    3. I have to come to terms with the idea that I might not always be right eventually, so this is good practice.

  2. Hi there

    Sorry but I am not sure exactly how blogs work ? however you seem to be a rules tinkerer par excellent and I a mere novice ?

    I have bought both the Portable Wargame and the One Hour Wargame books both excellent reads however I also own a copy of Crossfire and really want to try and play that.....

    Why am I not doing that ?

    I really need a 1 hour game with say 3 platoons + 3ish vehicles max each side ?

    So do you think it is possible to lever the Crossfire concepts of:-
    1) Initiative

    2) No measuring for movement

    3) All objects that can be seen are ' in range ' to be shot at

    into either the PW or OHW rules ?

    regards Paul

    1. Blogs work like this, where you write stuff and people ask questions.

      Crossfire is a curious beast. I've played it and it struck me as a really interesting attempt at something genuinely original. The yahoo discussion group, when I was on it, was all about how you made it work.

      The challenge you have is that Crossfire is a just above skirmish level game, and the other two are army level, so you are mixing chalk and cheese. If you don't want to measure then a grid is the best answer.

      I'll think about it, but no promises.

  3. Hi there

    Sorry but I am not sure exactly how blogs work ?

    Well I am used to forums where you post to or create a topic and it all should relate to the subject ?

    My post to here sort of does not relate to the heading of the blog post

    I thought maybe I had poor etiquette by doing this.

    I am happy with grids however they don't square up with Crossfires methodology. Still I can't break anything if I have a go myself.

    thanks Paul

    1. There isn't any etiquette, apart from it should sort of link to the subject of the post, but i'm a defying convention type of guy, so no problems.

      Crossfire is all about line of sight, and whether you are hidden or not by the terrain. In this case a hex grid might get you there, although it is a bit of a blunt instrument.

      The initiative system, or performing actions until you fail has been used quite a bit. There's a variation in my "If You Tolerate This" rules which are available up top right. I think it should work okay with OHW. For Portable Wargame I'd go and ask Bob Cordery over on Wargames Miscellany. I'd try putting that into OHW first, and see how it goes, then tweak the rest.

      We have played Crossfire in the past although I seem never to have blogged it. It requires a lot of good will between players.

  4. Group projects Hmmmm almost forgot that they existed. I've never expected other chaps to be interested in the same stuff I am- though delighted when they are. In our small group less than 10 - no two people are primarily interested in the same periods the same way so for instance 4 of us have "Modern" forces - in 3 different scales for 3 different theatres. 2 of us have 7YW- 2 different scales and two different theatres. The nearest we have managed as a group project was 40mm Wars of the Roses-2 of us painted figures but all 9 played. C'est la Geurre dans les T.W.A,T.S.

    1. Sounds like us. The only thing our group really has in common is AK47 Republic. Edgcote isn't really a group project, because it is only the two of us. It has been rally good so far, as there's a good level of discussion and debate about the whys and wherefores of the battle. And we have to prepare a talk on it for mid 2018 as well. Exciting times.