EXERT 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, June 18, 2015

Mixing it Up

This coming weekend is a bit of a reprieve for me. Home alone with rain in the forecast and just the critters to look after. I hope to get at least 2 games in. Guided by my determination that it is time to clear out some of the physical as well as mental and emotional clutter I am going to challenge my 40mm AWI troops by putting them on the table.

For some time I have been a little perturbed at myself for having AWI as well as 1812 collections (we won't even go into having had  AWI figures in  2, 3 ok 4,  different scales and 1812 in 2).  From a tabletop wargaming POV the Northern AWI and War of 1812 provide very similar games in different uniforms and without the tiny handful of cavalry. There are a few sieges, a couple of small open battles most of which would have made better wargames if there had been just a few tweaks, and lots of raids, ambushes and assorted nastiness.

I had been leaning towards focussing on the War of 1812 (better battles) but while both wars saw action in my home province of Quebec, the War of 1812 largely passed Nova Scotia by. Sure there was some privateering and the largely unopposed occupation of parts of northern Maine but it wasn't like the Revolution when there was an actual rebellion here with a siege of Fort Cumberland and privateer raids on coastal towns as well as action of the seas and the more actively opposed Fort George affair in Maine not to mention that there had been some support for having Montgomery and Arnold attack Nova Scotia rather than Quebec. The fact that I have friends here with 40mm AWI and Rob has F&IW figures, some of which can work along side  mine and vice versa  while my 1812 figures are on their own is a key factor in my favouring the AWI again. This wouldn't mean the elimination of my 1812 collection but a return to the idea of a small 40mm 1812 "game in a box", probably portable game style, with the rest of the figures being sold or repurposed.

Another, minor, factor is that it finally gives me a use for some of the  new PA molds, the Prussians  can be Hessians. They aren't what everyone would consider compatible style wise but close enough for me.

40mm Sash & Saber, Prince August and Irregular miniatures.
So, one of the weekend games is set to be an AWI game, a low level action using an updated MacDuff   (Quick Reference available here, main rules not updated till I'm happy with some games)  I'll also post it here on the blog with notes before the game.

The other will be a test game for the 40mm Gathering of Hosts. Its not going as smoothly as I thought. For one thing I have been reminded of the extreme size and style variation in the figures and have been trouble in my mind making everything fit together with the background. I've also rediscovered that I had more figures in waiting than I remembered and the project threatens to grow out of control without a firm hand. So a focus for 4 Kingdoms with slightly earlier troops and Elastolin/Miller/Perry/Prince August/Irregular sized figures. The Empire will keep the Meisterzinn sized, puffy Landsknecht style guys but will probable only appear rarely and in small numbers as the table will be soon be full without them!  This means that if the test is successful, both the 16th Century and Prince Valiant figures and games will be moving to the Gathering of Hosts blog.


4 comments:

  1. Don't you game different aspects of each conflict in the different scales Ross? That would give you "the justification" if ever one was needed to duplicate.

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    1. I have tried that but in practice it hasnt worked for me. There are various reasons, one is that it turns out that I'm just not that keen on tbe really low level skimish games, and esp not when the objective ends up being things like burning farms or worse so that those collections don't get used. At the same time in many of the things that interest me historically there is no Big Battle option.
      On top of that I don't often do the same thing in multiple scales at the same time and it often reflects "armies" collected to match an opponent or as part of a club project or sometimes to make use of a shiny new range of figures that have caught my eye or sometimes all of the above.
      Lastly there is a limit to space for storage and display and to the number of games that I can play. I figure that after 40 years of indulgence and exploration its time to settle in a little and go deeper than I have for a while now.

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  2. Sounds like a good weekend upcoming, Ross. Much as I love my wife, there's a lot to be said for the restorative aspect of some occasional solitude.

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  3. I think, it´s a good idea reactivating some AWI and F&IW games with your 40mm arsenal - especially the fact that this war consists of a lot of skirmishes, it made also a marvelous backdrop with this splendid landscape.
    Your figure deployment looks promising some quite interesting compositions. I am curious what you will develop!
    All the best, Peter

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