Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Table for "The Action At Ventosa"

I still have a few figures to paint yet, but here's the table set up for the scenario in "Wellington's Victories". The wheat fields surrounding the village are cut out of a cheap doormat from the local Boundary Mills store. We went for a walk to St Mary's Island last Sunday but didn't quite get there because my sandles disintegrated so we ended up at the store to buy another pair and they had 3X2 mats for £3.99. It was  one of those situations when you think - hmmmmmmm!

Teddy bear fur for the smaller fields on the reverse slope. The church tower is just visible to the right of the road beneath the handles of the "exercise" bike.

This is as close as we got walking along the cliff from Old Hartley.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Mid Year Malaise

Just  a quick update, more for my own benefit than anything else, as to where I am with the world of lead at the moment.

Not really got a lot done recently. I've had a long term sinus infection which has now cleared up thanks to some anti-biotics, but it seems to have left my right eye prone to dry-eye and more than usually susceptible to pollen this year. After a computer-heavy day at work the dry-eye was really aggravating and the last thing I felt like doing was painting. When the pollen started coming back down in the evening it only made matters worse. Fortunately I've now found some drops that keep the dry-eye away and some more that are keeping the allergy down, so today I'm picking up the brush for the first time in a while.

Romans Vs Palmyrans Game

Dave and I finished the game due to Scotty being unable to make it - totally went out of our heads until the end that it was supposed to be the start of a campaign. If the chaps are up for it we'll have to start again because it was totally wrong to inflict my dice throwing on Scotty's side at the start of the campaign.
Needless to say the Romans stuffed the Palmyran centre once they got into contact.
I have some more figures to change the makeup of these armies but see below.........

10mm Crimean War
If you look at Scotty's blog you'll see that he's left me way behind on this project already.
 Hopefully I can catch up a bit now. I've deliberately chosen figures in greatcoats to get the army built more quickly, so they are really easy to paint - almost just grey with a black wash. I've just discovered "Sharpie" gold and silver pens which make the rifle barrels and badges a doddle too. They will also work brilliantly for shako and shabraque lace on Napoleonics.
The games I've played for this era up until now have been with the Wye Forest Gamers' F&F adaption, but now I see that there is an"official" set coming out. The playsheet is already up on .It looks as though the groundscale is shorter than we are used to, but the infantry basing has gone back (I think) to F&F orientation rather than the narrow edge forward, 2 wide, 2 deep arrangement in the Napoleonic "Age of Eagles". It also seems to have skirmishers ,which AofE doesn't.

Thirty Years War
I've finally got my mind around how I want "Pike & Shotte" to work for this period. I've also looked logically at the table size I have available and decided upon the size of the armies I am going to do.
Basically, on a 6 X 4 table, with a bit of space on the flanks, there is room for 4 Swedish Brigades in 2 lines with 6 cavalry regiments on each flank in 2 lines with attached commaded shot. This equates to 6 Imperialist Battalia with the same number of cavalry.
I've decided that an Imperialist unit of 1000 men will be represented by 3 units of 2 bases so: 2 musket, 2 pike, 2 musket. This gives a scale of 1 base = 166 men. I'm doing Swedish Brigades of 3 units of 2 musket and 3 units of 1 Pike. I'm going to leave all Pike units as 2 ranks deep because a) I believe they were drawn up at the same depth as the muskets b) there are less figures involved. If I ever need to model deeper Imperialist formations, 2 pike units will be placed 1 in front of the other so the rear unit gives support to the front one as per the rules. 
I've now got all the scenario PDFs for Steven Danes "FAther Tilly" rules and can adapt them to this scale too.
So for this project is almost complete painting-wise, just a few more Imperialist pikes to paint. Now for the basing............
I've been basing these figures as per the WRG/FOG standard, mainly on the "if I ever sell them, they'll go quicker" basis. I'd started putting them in movement trays to make up the units, but to be honest they looked awful like that. So in the light of Tim Beresford's article in Miniature Wargames 362 (see below), I'm doing the following..........
The basing needed to look better with no trays, so everything except battalion guns is going on 40mmX40mm bases. 8 Pikes in 2 ranks, 6 Muskets (instead of 8) and 3 cavalry. Skirmish cavalry and dragoons will be on single bases as per P&S but I don't envisage many of the latter. Battalion guns will go on 30mm square bases. 
This will make them:
1. Look bettter
2. Easier to move
3.Easier to define the forward, rear and flank zones. Just draw lines through the diagonally opposite base corners and that defines the arc of fire and flank zones, etc.

Small units  = 1 base, standard units 2 bases, large units 3 bases. SORTED!

Tim Beresford's article "Think Tank" in MW 362
I really like what Henry Hyde is doing with the magazine. Articles on games are now articles on games, not 3 pages of history with two paragraphs on the game with no real idea about rules or how to actually translate it to the tabletop. There are also more general articles about the hobby and this one is a real thought-provoker for those up us with lead mountains and more unfinished than finished projects. Basically he's arguing that detail is detracting from the hobby - making figures take longer to paint and by extension, projects longer to complete.
But detail has another serious affect on people like me who have to "get things right", especially with Napoleonics in my case. E.G. It took me ages to get enough figures together for the General de Brigade Vimeiro scenario that appears earlier on my blog. This was because I was determined that the British units should have the correct facings for the regiments they represented. This is really a form of obsessive-compulsive madness that results in fewer games and too much angst. I've now adopted the attitude that as long as a red coated regiment has red coats, the facing colours are irrelevant - what matters is the label on the base that  defines it. 
The same goes for the (thankfully) more generic French. I was going to make sure that the 2 battalions of light infantry required for the Ventosa scenario had blue trousers and white metal fittings. This despite the fact that I have enough line battalions to do the job - so bugger it - two line battalions will represent the two legere units and the base labels will do the rest.
On the subject of base labels: In WHS in Morpeth I discovered some post-it notes that are 100% sticky on the reverse side - so now no more permanently labelled units. Do a set of labels for each F&F or GdeB (or any rules for that matter) scenario and you can put them on and take them off to your heart's content. Keep them stuck to a piece of paper and file them when not in use.
So now I am painting up some more British for the Ventosa scenario from "Wellington's Victories" and the only reason I am doing so is because I don't have enough figures, not because the facings are the wrong color!

I think that's enough for one day - I'm off to lie down in a darkened room.

P.S I am not at all upset, envious or jealous that Dave got to see a baseball game before me.