Monday, October 30, 2023

Reduce, Recycle, Reuse

When I started getting into shiny, old school 40mm figures, I was thinking about various historical, mid 19thC, campaigns, British wars in India, the various rebellions in Canada and the US Mexican War and the Oregon Crisis over the west coast border between Britain and the US. In my eagerness to do them all at once, in no time I had parts of all of these ready to go, BUT none ready. Well, the toy soldier approach was starting to appeal to me and so I made up a fictional setting and bent the narrative to justify finding ways to find a place for all. 

Faraway's Belmont Fusiliers, and the Young Buffs have been ordered to trade their old Havelock's for ordinary Pork Pie forage caps.
These OS 40mm figures are from Historifigs War of 1812 range. They are listed as Americans since that's what the Scruby catalogue said, but are actually wearing British uniforms with the Waterloo shako. The Havelocks and Porkpie Forage cap are epoxy putty over a trimmed down shako. 

The idea worked once I adapted my brain to the setting and I still think its a useful approach but since I'm trying to reduce the size of my combined collection and to focus on a smaller number of settings so I can go a bit deeper, I decided to rethink some parts of the plan. The result is that the "Colonial" theatre is now the unique setting for the early 20thC while the  mid 19thC will be constrained to the Oberhilse and Faraway wars. A few units will need a bit of tweaking, but nothing serious.

A shot from my 2009 playing of 'Forlorn Hope' from Asquith & Grant's Scenarios For All Ages
See my 'Playing The Redbook' blog series

Slowly, the plan is forming!

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Mom! He's at it again!

"At what?"

"Oh! Rebasing! What a mess!"

I'm not sure if its something cosmic or just the looming shadow of the end of my 7th decade and the signs that my body and mind are starting to slow down,  but over the last month or so, I've been reconsidering my hobby plans and aims and what will someone have to handle  if  when the inevitable happens. Over the last 15 years, I've re-homed several thousand mini's in 6 scales but since I haven't stopped adding, there's still a few thousand painted and unpainted miniatures for someone to dispose of some day. 

But that's a longer term issue, in the short term, I've revised my plans with an eye to reducing the number of my active collections again so that I concentrate on pinning down my rules and running some mini-campaigns of one sort or another. 

The new regulation.

More on my revised plans later, for now, I'll finish rebasing enough units to get a game on the table midweek.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

An Origin Story

How my old 15mm French Rev collection became a new 40mm one.

Really, it was all Rob Dean's fault!  (See his  French Revolution Project blog post). This was back at the 'turn of the century'. Rob had introduced me to homecasting so I naturally went from commercial moulds to making my own masters and moulds. One of the earliest projects were some 'sans culottes' for his Scarlet Pimpernel skirmish games. 

The peasant figures, sculpted, cast, modified, and painted by me some 20 years ago.

Those were very entertaining games with each player having secret missions from smugglers, young officers seeking promotion,  a marching band gaining points for playing La Marseilles (out loud) to as many French units as possible (incidentally preventing that unit  from doing anything that turn), and so on.  Naturally, one player was the Scarlet Pimpernel helping a group of escaping emigres which would be disguised as one of the French or civilian units, while one player was a spymaster trying to identify and arrest the dastardly Englishman. 

Good memories. 

Rob's French band, based on the Meisterzinn moulds.

We started planning to get them out again for a larger Scarlet Pimpernal game at Huzzah in 2020 and I started painting up more figures but COVID struck and then schedules got tangled. 

Well, we'll just have to seek to field him here, or there, or somewhere.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Fifty Years Earlier

Seemed a waste to clear the table after just one game.

To be continued.......

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Battle of Bridgetown

The Oerburg front had been quiet for over a year, but having heard rumours of agitators trying to stir up trouble, the Dominion had recently increased the outpost at Bridgetown. So it was that when a company of Oerburgers quietly occupied the far side of the rail bridge, the garrison commander ordered out 3 companies of Ross's Rifles supported by a 4.7" naval gun to clear them away.

  To no one's great surprise, that first company was well supported.

To the Dominion's surprise though, the Orberg cavalry splashed through a ford the Dominion's soldier were unaware of and were advancing at a good pace towards the 4.7". A squadron of Larsen's Lancers were there though so no one was too worried.

Instead of dismounting as was their habit though, they came on at a gallop, firing from the saddle. The Lancers were thrown back, and the 4.7" overrun! 

To make things worse, the Rifles had suffered heavy casualties and the remnant had been forced to fallback to the town. Only the company of Dominion Guards were left intact to strengthen the defence of the vital town and railway.   

It was enough.   The Oerbergers launched a weak attempt to storm the town but they had also suffered heavily in the early fighting and there wasn't enough time for their artillery to demolish the town, even if they wanted to. 

So, the day ended, as it began with the two parties glaring at each other across the Blutape River.

(Note: After some false starts with versions of the WW1 Sq Brigadier rules, I decided to fall back on the rules I intend to use with my 54's. I've finally agreed with myself that the fewer sets of rules I use, the easier my life and games will be. I'll post them once they are tidied up and tested again... oh!.. another game!  awright! 

Friday, October 13, 2023

Hurry Up and Wait

Some weeks it seems like there's always something that needs doing. Anyway, at last the game is set and the first 3 turns played.

Hopefully a Battle Report will be posted for Sunday morning. 

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Where Away? (updated)

Its that time of year. My conventions have come and gone and I don't have plans for next year, the shelves and cupboards are overloaded with painted armies and unpainted figures, and I'm having trouble deciding what I want to do next. 

As much as I love my French Revolution troops and as many settings there are that they can be used for, they haven't helped solve my "too many figures, too little time, storage space and energy" dilemma.  What the heck was I thinking?!?  Well, that's not going to be resolved today but I do need to restart making choices and trimming my collection of figures.  But not today when I'm tired and its wet and windy out side and my wife's off at a dog show for the day. 

Today is more of an off the shelf One Hour game day, but which era? Something that hasn't been played in a while perhaps.....


or maybe, just the usual "goto":

Hmm.... Well, lunch first, then a decision....

Aha!. Meanwhile, back in Oerberg

Hmm, that was quick.....

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

That's All Folks

 Well, our little mini-con has come and gone but it was a darned good 1st one. The closest events of this sort that I have at least vague memories of were back in the 1980's but plans are ready being made for next year. 

I was too busy to remember to take photos, apart from the one below, so I've pirated some others of games I played in or ran. Alas I'm missing any shots of the Time Tripper game that I played in to start the weekend. 

A C&C 15mm game, Salamanca possibly? Peninsula War anyway. The Spanish-for-the-occasion cavalry in the foreground, were French Revolution Austrian cavalry by Battle Honours that I painted for my Austrian army late last century, but now belong to Jeff who uses them as Spanish cavalry. 

These 2 pictures were of my replay of my "Meet Me At the Oasis" game.

Lastly, Montrose vs the Covenanters at ..mumble...

The weekend was a great success and plans are already being hatched for next year.