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.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

2012 After the convention.New Projects. Old Issues.

There is often a quiet space, a vacuum almost, after a long planned game has been staged at a convention.  This has been an especially odd one, the game was conceived and 75% done 3-4 years ago, a plausible Historical semi-skirmish game. Then I changed my mind on what I was doing, several times, and then had to scramble to present something. Well, that is done and while my 40mm Toy Soldiers remain my main "thing", I'm going to give them a breathing space while I spend time and grey cells "collating data like they say".

In the mean time, I want to do some renovating and reorganizing, not to mention cleaning up of my games room and I'll keep puttering away at 25mm Ancients, 1/72nd ACW. But, two new projects have been approved by The Internal Committee on Wargaming, one French Revolution/Egyptian Campaign, the other Boer War related. After a debate on size and scope and consideration of 10mm, 1/72nd, 25mm and 40mm scales, the Committee has selected 40mm as the size for both of these new campaigns in keeping with Standing Orders. But what sort of 40mm and what sort of game?

When the always lurking lure of the French Revolution surfaced again, it didn't take long to remember that Rob already has a Scarlet Pimpernal game. Even though I want to do Egypt, there could be substantial overlapping uses for figures in both directions, or I could just add a few opposing units if I am willing to persuade myself that this would not contravene Article 64 that says no duplication of projects once one is sold off. (In this case my various 15mm FRW war armies). There is a lot to be said for shared projects, especially when shared with someone close by but even at a distance.

The Rough Wooing games played at Huzzah can only be considered an example of a successful shared project.  It has been well received at various conventions, the original Relief of Haddington game gathering an Award as well as being over stocked with players despite 3 runnings of the game, but has also continued to be played and added to since then. Solo and 2 player games on both ends,  and various returns to conventions at a smaller, more casual  basis than the first outing. There are generally  4 key "what's" to starting a shared project: "What campaign(s), What rules, What figures? What basing?". Luckily Rob & I agreed fairly smoothly on these including possible expansions and rules, despite difficulties being able to playtest these in the first decade after the inception of the project. That was a matter of detail only, none of the essentials have changed and the door is still open to new fronts, new convention and home battles in years to come.

 The only fly in the ointment for the French Revolution is that once again, Rob's figures are all (or 98%) Meisterzinn figures, 45mm tall and chunky. The Scrubies, Elastolin and Zinnbrigade that I hope to use are 40mm and slender. Not a comfortable mix. We actually hit the same issue last time but I only had a handful of Elastolins so I tend to just leave them home apart from a  few individuals mixed in here and there where they just add natural variation as opposed to whole battalions of midgets and giants.

Left to Right: Scruby 1812 Britsh, Britain's original Standard size Highlander, Meisterzinn figure converted to a F&IW Highlander, Scruby again, Elastolin Turk. To me the Meisterzinn looks more comfortable with the old style 54mm than he does with the Elastolin/Scruby version of 40mm. 

Now, we are agreed on adding Turks to the Rough Wooing game at some point, and these would by default be compatible with Meisterzinn figures,  but they will be based on similar thick 60mm square bases, not as individuals so there would have to be duplication of forces if not of molds. My Elastolin and Scruby (if they are ever released) Turks and Arabs would still be homeless. The more I think on it, the less sense it makes for me to tie this particular project of mine to Rob's existing one for the sake of 1 convention battle every few years.  Actually, now that I think about it, its probably best pushed to the back  until Mike Tabor releases the old Scruby Colonials. I can always scratch the old French Revolution itch by doing the Royal Marine heads that Rob has been patiently awaiting for several years now and maybe by doing a new, compatible, Sans Culotte figure to amuse myself, and perhaps some Breton Chouans. (Article 64 forbidding re-doing Vendeans, a hair I know but there we are)

Next: The Boer War, 18 pdrs, Zinn Brigade, Field Grey, Metis, and Atlantica's Moose-Hunter culture and the old history vs fiction, element vs single toy solider debate..


  1. I'm looking forward to seeing your Napoleon in Egypt/French Revolution stuff. Have you read "The Last Cavalier" by Dumas?

  2. I'm looking forward to doing it. Neither the 54mm plastic nor the 15mm versions were finished. Third time lucky perhaps? Especially since it may turn out to be some form of Portable Wargame before I'm done.

    Have not yet read The Last Cavilier

  3. Ah well, Egypt to match my larger fellows could have been interesting. :)

    1. Well the 16thC Turks will be of about the right size when they eventually appear so who knows. The other project won't materialize until it does. In other words, may not actually be in my lifetime.

  4. Yes, that's the problem with Meisterzinn. You really have to fully commit to them instead of being able to mix them in seamlessly with other 40mm figures. They do have a charm and style of their own but it seems they were mostly intended as toys. For example, the Renaissance figures: a few Landsknechts here, a few TYW figures there; what do you do with them ?


    1. Well, I'll note that when I first saw them, there basically weren't any commercial 40mm ranges available to compare to...Scruby and Elastolin were out of production, Sash and Saber, Trident, and Perry still in the future...

    2. I think all the answer you really need is to point to the latest shots of the Meisterzinn's in action:

  5. Our answer was a combination of convert like crazy and adopt a suitable toy soldier attitude. The lack of a pikeman struck me as odd but Rob mastered the art of converting halberdiers to ring hands.