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

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wargaming in the Middle Ages

There is nothing like a Wargaming Convention to get mind and spirit moving and get one excited to get moving on something.
OK Not that sort of Middle Age.

Its also a good reminder that while I'm not one of the younger gamers out there, I'm not the one of oldest either and there is good reason to anticipate a decade or two more of wargaming to come. Time to get serious about dealling with Wargamer's Middle Age Spread.

So, the plan is more expansion and contraction, more of less as it were. The urge to do all the not 'done right yet' things and to plan on doing everything has weakened yet again while the urge to get deeper into a few of the unrealized campaigns has gotten stronger.

Between Fall In! and Huzzah!, I've regained my interest in low level engagements and after playing on a bigger table at home and even bigger ones at the conventions, as well as playing on smaller tables, I've also gained an added interest in non-gridded games on smaller surfaces.

Here is what I plan to work on over the next six or so months.

1) I'm not really a tricorne fan but I do love the Prince August semi-flats and they are, all in all, if you mix ranges as I do, the most complete range of moulds in 40mm. Its also, unintentionally, become one of my larger figure collections and I'm still adding molds and figures so I want to use it. I can also feel an urgent desire to stop talking about fictional campaigns and do some! So, despite a gulity feeling that I really OUGHT to be doing something historical  from Nova Scotia's history, last winter's planned campaign set in the wild coast lands to the North and East of Rosmark is going ahead. Look for wooden forts, wooden ships and wild irregulars in fur caps  as well as Rosmark and Duchy regulars, local militia and possibly even foreign allies from the lands beyond the forests, oh, and a map!
But, don't look for big pitched battles. This will be a war of skirmishes and small expeditions. Charge! is the set of rules for NQSYW battles but for my private sub campaign I will be spending a lot of effort over the next two months to polish the 20th Anniversary Edition of With MacDuff to the Frontier and plan to use them on this frontier.



2)   I have also been itching to do some more Prince Michael games, or something equivalent and to get deeper into that campaign setting but I'm stymied with too many choices  of figures in different periods and scales. Again I am cutting some cords. I didn't set out to build an Elastolin Roman army, they just came with other stuff and since I still have a thing for the Eagle of the Ninth and Sword at Sunset as well as Prince Valiant I painted them up, just like I started painting the 25mm Sassinid army I never built in college. In both cases my head isn't really there and they have stalled and stalled me in indecision (guilt is too strong a word) I've had some fun with what I've painted up but it feels like yesterday and I will be making an effort to re-home both of those with any funds being directed back into what is left. I will keep two 25mm DBA/HOTT/Impetus sized Scots and English armies. That will get me back to where I was with the 40mm Five Winds project with Medieval, early and late, Barbarian, and Eastern hordes to work with. The rules will be twitched into a variant of Rough Wooing but I need to work more on rules for characters and the use of single stand units in skirmishes. The latter thought  worried me but looking back over the Prince Michael adventures where all figures were singles, I don't see that having the groups of minions on bases would be much different than having them bunched together as units of single based figures, except possibly, when it comes to the occasional photo op.


3) The ACW in 1/72nd. Nothing big here except that this  is likely to remain my only full sized horse and musket battle collection and so I can relax and leave the current 3 stand units. It is coming off the grid though and will carry the Hearts of Tin banner now that I've tried the various options to see how they each feel. This'll give the closest feel to an OSW type wargame.   I don't actually expect to do much with this lot this year but its place is now known.

4) Now don't panic. All the 19thC Square Brigadier/Portable Wargame figures in various 40mm and 54mm collections aren't suddenly disappearing. Its just that whether or not I get the itch to paint up a few more figures, I can pluck 2 armies and have a game going with about 10 minutes notice so there's nothing that needs to be done right now and I'm not planning any background development or campaigns this year.


12 comments:

  1. Ross Mac,

    I find attending wargame shows and conferences always renews my enthusiasm for new and old projects. At present I want to concentrate on completing my Napoleonic project (and possibly writing a book about my Portable Napoleonic Wargame!) and then spending some time developing my Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War project. That how I hope to wargame well into my Middle Ages ... and beyond!

    All the best,

    Bob

    PS. I've often toyed with buying some PA moulds and casting my own figures ... but that is currently only a possible future project as yet.

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    1. Beware Bob,the 40mm Tricorne fellows are addictive!!!!

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    2. Tradgardmastare,

      Thnaks for the warning! I'm finding the same thing with my Napoleonics; what was supposed to be a small collection of a couple of hundred figures is turning into a monster with over a thousand!

      All the best,

      Bob

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    3. Bob if you do dabble, I'd suggest you start with one of the later issues of 25mm Napoleonics to see if they fit in with your new project.

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  2. Good luck with the campaign planning and look forward to the posts as you progress.

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    1. Thanks, I'm looking forward to doing something post-worthy.

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  3. That all sounds very promising, glad to hear the convention trip was inspirational.

    I'm particularly looking forward to the 20th anniversary edition of MacDuff, as that's the one I'm most likely to use, but I'll follow the other strands with interest too.

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    1. It worked well enough last fall that I of course have an urge to tamper which I am resisting. The updated draft should be ready sometime in June.

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  4. Much for us to look forward to on your blog.I have just ordered an army to oppose my friend's 17th century Poles- something I ought to have done over 30 years ago but never got round to until now.

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    1. 17thC Poles? lalalalalal not listening.....

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  5. Good thoughts.
    It's so easy to get pulled in so many different directions, and good to narrow down to what really interests you, and actually be able to complete (or "complete" enough) projects.

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  6. Dear Ross,

    Once again your meta-cognitive approach to your gaming is greatly appreciated. Why you choose a period, your assessment of what you will need down the line to play a period the way you want, and a discussion of the actual building of your armies is always highly commendable. What really sets your work apart is the analysis of how you go about developing your actual rules systems. It is always nice to have something to think about.

    Jerry

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