Viewer's Choice Celebration MiniCampaign

It has now been over 20 years since I launched "With MacDuff On the Web" and nearly 10 years since I launched my 2 blogs: Gathering of Hosts and Battle game of the Month.

To celebrate the years and the friends and the million hits I've decided to run a 3 game mini-campaign in late October. By popular vot e it will be set in the mid 18th Century.

Friday, April 22, 2011


This seems like an appropriate time for renewal and so it is for my red & blue coats. Off with the old bases and onto the new.

Into the bath of water for a few hours to loosen the glue, slid the tip of a heavy exacto blade under the base and moistened sand and twist gently, Pop! Off comes another figure. Scrape the base clean while the glue and sand is still soft, and its ready for reuse by 25mm ancients. Life is so much easier since I stopped trying tough glues to make the bases permanent and went back to water soluble white glue.

The whole table has been taken over as troops go in stages from base removal to base mounting to sanding and flocking (or painting, still deciding). Just over 200 figures to be done this time around.They'll be done by tomorrow.

I've also tinkered with organizations as I rebase and have started assessing what needs to be added, an officer here, a few more privates there. Which has led to another edit for MacDuff.

After some testing last year, I decided that the 4 levels of command (General, Brigadier, Colonel, Captain) needed to be reduced.  by 1 level (Brigadier & Colonel being merged).  There ought to be all 4 levels and so I just added them back in. Now if I had time & space, the Colonel really needs 4 companies, so say 48 man battalions, a pair or more of those for the Brigadier, a couple of Brigades and there is a force worthy of a general. Good in theory but that won't fit on my table and on a big table, that is an 8 hour game in the making which wasn't the plan. Worse, its started confusing things again so I just kicked them back out. So for standard TT Teasers, there will be the "General", subordinate commanders and companies. At 1:10 an 8 man company might be an actual one. More often a 12 man wargame "company" (aka unit) will stand in for several real ones if doing an historical action. (Many companies were as small as 40 men during the War of 1812 for example). For larger games at 1:20, the commanders become Brigadiers and the units, small battalions or wings of battalions.

Back to basing so I can get back to painting and playing..


  1. Ross, I use magnetic bases and steel sabots precisely to avoid this sort of things. I admire your commitment, but I think I'd lose my reason if I tried to emulate it.

  2. Of course, if you're going with sabots, the default condition for troop mounting needs to be individuals on steel, which is the direction these are going, if I read that right.

  3. Ross

    What are the original bases made of (the ones about to be recycled for ancients)? Are they balsa (or basswood)? Does the soaking not affect the wood (i.e. warp it)? I base mine on artist board, so while I could soak em off, I can' recycle them.


  4. Conrad, There are those who might suggest that you have the sequence backwards, losing reason comes first.....
    However, while I used to hate rebasing, I suspect its becoming a way to do something with my figures without making the over crowding problem worse. :)

  5. Rob the real change is from battle sized games and thinking in terms of elements and back towards skirmish games. (which is where we came in if I recall).

  6. Peter, they are Litko bases and are some form of plywood that is very tough. I initially cringed at paying instead of cutting up recycled cardboard but the are cheap, square and very durable.

    btw speaking of cardboard bases, How is Harry's army? Its auld Scottish opponants are in the process of being rebased from our sensible system to DBA standards before going up on ebay.

  7. Ross,

    About 25% of Canadian pennies seem to be made of a steel compound instead of copper (which is now too expensive to use for pennies) . . .

    So I've been getting penny rolls from the bank and trolling through them with a strong magnet to get my "basing materiel" since pennies are cheaper than washers, but will still stick to a magnetic base (I use those sheet magnets that you can cut with scissors; I stick them onto firmer base materiel).

    As for flocking vs painting, I used to flock everything . . . but I'm moving over to just using paint (more "old school" look) and using the same color paint that I've used on the table surface.

    Anyway, enjoy your Easter weekend and keep gaming, my friend.

    -- Jeff

  8. Jeff, most of my old 25mm colonials were based on pennies. Alas the 40's are too big. I'm probably going to flock the chunky shaded figures and stick to green paint on the glossy toy soldier types.

    A good Easter to you as well.

  9. Well, my son and I just discovered something about our basing system yesterday...apparently the latest boxes of fender washers I bought are a stainless steel that isn't magnetic! (Too much chromium? Stainless isn't a particular alloy description...) I'm not quite sure what to do with that, other than to take a magnet to the hardware store in the future.

    Ross: We were resorting the war room shelves yesterday, so I have had a chance to look in the F&IW boxes. I see a MacDuff game in the near term...

  10. I have some of those as well Rob. One of the reasons I don't rely on magnets when I do make movement trays.