EXCERPT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Convalescent Gaming

Its been a couple of years now since I finally started to see some usefulness to having what I might call a "card table game" to hand. That occasion was an extremely warm muggy evening and a friend & I sat out on a deck by the lake with 2 1/72nd ancient armies mounted on 15mm DBA bases and played a couple of quick games on a patio table.

More recently, I have been playing some sit down games with friends with various health issues, a growing concern amongst a certain portion of the gaming population. A few smaller miniatures on a small table may not have the grandeur of a big table loaded with hundred's of 40mm troops but the games looked attractive and were challanging and fun none the less and much less strnouos to play. Its given me food for thought and since I now find myself convalescing, I find my mind turning that way.

The latest game was a 15mm WWII BKC (Blitzkrieg Commander) game adapted to be played on a hex grid with no need for rulers or fiddlyness. Bob Cordery's gridded games are also on my mind, especially as I admire Joe Morschauser's work but a Hotz felt hex sheet is what I happen to have tucked away, never used, in the cupboard. Inside on the kitchen table would make sense, a certain degree of clutching at my chest and making puppy dog eyes ought to secure it but there are anywhere from 2 to 4 cats at hand in the kitchen which may be an issue. Spinner, our Whippet, tends to discourage them from the side yard when present so the picnic table under the Willow is looking very attractive, as long as the wind stays low. Not sure how well 1/2nd plastic figures will pin a felt sheet if the wind backs and rises.

The trick will be to choose a simple scenario, not too big, something not too straight forward as I want a good story rather than a straight bash or a battle of wits. Despite past commitments to focusing on 40mm metal toy soldiers, 5 viable options appear for a truly "light" game:
a) Elastolin 40mm Prince Valiant  for a small skirmish
b) Split my handful of untried RCW 1/72 in 2, the snow based ones may feel out of place today, esp on a sandy mat,
c) ACW 1/72nd Airfix, but something with not too much terrain may be best
d) 1960'S Roscia facing Naryatria, the terrain would match well, dare I field the 2 new Centurians fresh from the factory without a coat of paint?  hmm the makings of  a scenario, The 2 new centurions are in a workshop near the front being painted and not yet fueled or armed. The Naryatrians stage a pre-emptive strike to take them out.

Time for another nap and some day dreaming.

 . .


  1. Ross Mac,

    My thoughts are that hexes are good for anything post 1920/1930, but that squares are better for anything before that (this is just a rule of thumb, by the way!).

    I would love to see 1960s Roscia have another outing soon, but whatever you choose to do, enjoy it!

    All the best,


  2. Ross,

    Naps (as in short sleeps) are good.

    Some of the Table Top Teasers in Battlegames Magazine have been small skirmish games . . . you might want to look those over.

    And take it easy, sir. Remember, naps are good . . . just ask your cats.

    -- Jeff

  3. Jeff - if he asks his cats he'll never be awake! :o))

    W.r.t BKC and hexes - I think hexes and grids are the spawn of the devil (apologies Bob - only slightly kidding!), but my good gaming buddy DG has adapted BKC to hexes - want me to see if he can send you his current thoughts???

  4. Thanks Steve, its my friend Ron whose doing the tinkering but I'll gladly pass on any thoughts and/or compare to what Ron came up with. He is using 10cm wide hexon terrain hexes, rather convenient measurement conversions.

    Jeff, got the same answer on naps from my Whippet.

  5. Bob, the issues of maintaining linear formations on a hex grid can be taxing. We managed it using 10mm troops using Black Powder but probably not optimum.