Thursday, December 1, 2022

Distracted By A Lady

 My friend Rob Dean (Sharp End of the Brush blog) (who got me into home casting last century) has developed an urge to collect old German moulds. Here's a sample of one of his latest.

She's a tall lass on a tall horse but the latest PA cavalry are big enough to court her

Now to clean off the flash and paint her up. The question will be: "Is she a Lady of influence and curiosity touring the front? Or a French spy?”.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

While I'm At Loose Ends .....

It seemed like a good time to tie up a loose end. 

My small, miscellaneous, haphazard, 1/72 pre-gunpowder collection, is a bit of a lost lamb, due originally to nostalgia. At last however, I'm beginning beginning to awaken to some practical advantages it might have in some plausible versions of my future. Since I had no particular "call" to paint any of the waiting hordes of recruits for my acrive collections, or play a game, it seemed like as good a time as any to revisit my ideas about having an emergency or unpleasant future situation where I had to pick one compact 'game in a box' that I could coax potentially non-wargamers into playing as well as playing it solo. A wargame that might be suitable to tempt people without an interest in military history into playing a game, perhaps those who enjoy fantasy movies and books, (LOTR, GofT, etc).

This motley collection was distinctly NOT acquired for this, or any other purpose actually. 

Some might recognize the game pieces from "Feudal". My copy was a present back in the late 70's. It was a time when my collection of miniatures were in storage some 5,000 km away, and I did not know any local miniature gamers. I was reduced to being trounced regularly by a board wargaming friend, and picking up and painting whatever miniatures I could find, the best source being a small card and gift shop where I bought some Armada ships and some Heritage Napoleonics which I converted to ECW Scots to go with the handfull of Minifigs, my first 15's, that I had painted in my cabin on HMCS Otatwa on the opposite coast, a year or so earlier. Board games aren't first choice, but are better than nothing for a social activity. Naturally, I stated painting the miniatures.... I even managed to play a game or two with a friend, bless her heart. Anyway, not long after, I got posted to Halifax and my gaming drought was over, but I kept the figures largely I suspect, for the good memories of those days.

Apart from my first, brief dip back into ACW, my reconnection with 1/72nd came when Hat released the old Airfix Ancient British set. As it happens, I had  received the Britons and Romans on my first Christmas leave from Military College in '72. I broke out Featherstone and played a quick solo game but by next year, Simon MacDowall had arrived and I had a copy of WRG 3rd ed Ancients. Soon, two small airfix armies were learning the ropes. Those armies were long gone and I wasn't  doing anything in 1/72nd, but could not help supporting my local hobby shop by buying the occasional box. So, for nostalgia's sake, I bought the Ancient Britons. 

The last key piece was that I had always yearned for the 4cm Elastolin figures. I used to ogle them at Eaton's and Simpson's at Christmas time but they were well outside my parents' budget. When I found out that a Revell set included  scaled down copies and later found that Orion's vikings included not only copies of some Elastolins, but also copies my old Marx 25mm vikings, well, had to have them!

So that's where the gaggle of pieces came from. At some point, I painted up two small DBA armies as a travelling game, but didn't do much with them, until Rob Dean decided to run a 6 player 1/72nd Dragon Rampant event at Huzzah a few years ago.   Since we've been co-hosting events since the turn of the century, I volunteered to bring 2 of the armies. After that they went back into the cupboard until one hot summer day in 2021 when I took the non-fantasy elements out for a quick solo game. 

That was enough to make me think there just might be a place for them as a 'game in a box' at no expense.  The Horse & Musket era one I built earlier this year is fine, but the attraction for non-wargamers might not be great. Something with a wider audience was needed, possibly something for people who enjoyed Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, etc, and something compatible with several published rules sets as well as homegrown rules.  

Shouldn't take long to paint up the last few figures, non-human units might be considered later...

Friday, November 25, 2022

He Marched Them Up The Hill ......

 At last!  Today I got to play a OHW scenario through in one, roughly an hour, session! 

The French launch a speedy attack, but the Allies reaction was even faster. 

I will admit that earlier this last week, I played the scenario over several days, a turn here and another there, using With MacDuff to the Frontier but the fit just wasn't right and the games went too slowly with the wrong kinds of decisions needing to be made. (Low level details were over shadowing the formation and execution of a battle plan.)  So, I looked back to the "Whiff of Dice" rules that I had been working on for these French Revolution scenario games.

The French fire caused heavy casualties so the allies fell back to reorganize.

The rules still needed honing so I under took that, once again delaying a proper game, then reset the table.

The French followed, but not fast enough, and casualties were heavy on both sides. The British commander decided to take a chance and threw the 11h Light Dragoons at the French Hussars which had been working their way around the allied infantry's flank.
It was a gamble, but the dice were kind and the 11th LD won honours in their first action!

The result was worth it. For once I managed to play a One Hour Game in roughly an hour. More than that, the game was loaded with critical command decisions and hard to predict combat results, keeping me engaged right down the  last die roll which broke the French morale at the end on Turn 14 of 15.

The French made a desperate attempt to hold their own till dark, but it was not to be.

Of course, there'll have to be more test games.......oh well, if needs be.....