Saturday 30 January 2016

Revolutionary Quandary

My next big project is going to be the American War of Independence or the Revolutionary War, AWI for short.

I have never done the AWI before (can't think why as I seem to have done almost everything else).

My first quandary is what scale or size of figures to use. There is an enormous choice, some of which are listed below. I have used a standard line infantry unit as means of measure.

Warlord Games, 28 mm, £18, free postage, 24 close order figures, 6 open order figures, flags, bases, can pick them up at most shows.

Perry Miniatures, 28 mm, £20, free postage, 36 close order figures, flags, bases, can pick them up at most shows.

Kallistra, 12 mm, £6 (£5 in multiples of 6), 32 close order figures, no flags, bases, only at certain shows.

Pendraken, 10 mm, £4.50, 30 close order figures (pack), no flags, no bases, only at certain shows.

Baccus, 6 mm, £5.50, 96 close order figures (4 units), no flags, no bases, only at certain shows.

No clear option here but the smaller sizes are cheaper per figure, no surprises there, but tend to not come with flags or bases.

I know that there are other manufacturers and ranges to consider but I'm trying to keep it simple for the time being. I can always add others in further down the road.

In 28 mm a standard line unit could be 24 figures strong and based on six 40 x 40 mm bases making a unit 240 mm wide.

12 mm equates to 32 figures and four 40 x 20 mm bases making a unit 160 mm wide.

10 mm equates to ~30 figures and four 40 x 20 mm bases making a unit 160 mm wide.

6 mm comes in at 24 figures and one 60 x 30 base making a unit 60 mm wide.

My table is 6 foot by 4 foot or approximately 1800 mm wide. A single line of close order infantry units across the table will be: 28 mm - 7.5 units, 12/10 mm - 11.25 units and 6 mm - 30 units.

Smaller sizes, bigger armies, fairly well known across the hobby (yes, I know, it brings in smaller tables too).

Being an old age pensioner and grand-dad to be makes the budget something to consider.

28 mm, 7.5 units at £18 each totals £135.
12 mm, 11.25 units at £5 totals £56.25.
10 mm, 11.25 units at £4.50 totals £50.63.
6 mm, 30 units at £5.50 for 4 units totals £41.25.

At the end of the day I will probably sample more than one of these options. Apologies if my arithmetic is dodgy.

I have been painting 28mm Napoleonic units for charity sale over the last couple of years and now that the big anniversary of Waterloo has passed it may be a diminishing market. I am quite likely to pick up some Warlord/Perry AWI boxes next weekend at Vapnartak. They will make excellent charity sale objects if I decide not to keep them for myself.

Kallistra, hmm, they didn't easily jump into my awareness for AWI. I have an awful lot of their Medieval/Fantasy figures. I'd best not get any more in the short term.

I wouldn't rush into getting some Pendraken AWI at the moment. I have an absolute ton of their Seven Years War offerings so I am quite familiar with them as a manufacturer.

The Baccus 6 mm figures are intriguing, are they big enough to differentiate Continentals from Militia, I'm not sure, I might pick up a pack or two for a trial run. I have a lot of Peters ACW figures so I am familiar with their tiny size and an appropriate painting style.

The last part of the quandary is what ruleset to use. Black Powder is one obvious choice but I'm not sure about the AWI add-on (Rebellion). At the other end of the rules spectrum there are Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames options and his Horse and Musket generic set.

Are there any other rulesets that I should be considering. My main requirements being simple to learn and play, one versus one, solo, and no massive games.

Thursday 28 January 2016

Roman Praetorian Guards

A recent transaction included a little brown box of metal figures.

I would have included a photograph of the little brown box here but didn't as it was a little bit shy!

The contents turned out to be a dozen Roman Praetorian Guards.

They are partly painted, probably in enamels given their age and would be heading for the stripping pot if I were to be keeping them for myself. I am concentrating on Greeks, Macedonians and hopefully Persians so they don't fit my selections, my budget and my timescale.

Would anyone like to have them? Free if you pay the postage. Donations to my Combat Stress charity fund are always welcome but not essential.

Researching the figures leads me to believe that they are made by Garrison and were made as early as 1972 going by a catalogue listing online. They might be a bit earlier.

They are listed as 20mm figures from the Roman period 60 AD. In fact they are 25mm from foot to eye as scale creep goes back as far as that.

RE2 Praetorian Centurion crested helmet and cloak

RE8a Praetorian Standard Bearer

RE4 Praetorian Guardsman half armour, pilum, shield, cloak and crested helmet

I will be at Vapnartak next weekend as well the little do in Prestonpans the week after if a direct hand to hand transfer is appropriate.

Monday 11 January 2016

David Bowie RIP

"Space Oddity"

Ground Control to Major Tom
Ground Control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills
and put your helmet on

Ground Control to Major Tom
Commencing countdown,
engines on
Check ignition
and may God's love be with you

Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Liftoff

This is Ground Control
to Major Tom
You've really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it's time to leave the capsule
if you dare

This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I'm stepping through the door
And I'm floating
in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today

For here
Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do

Though I'm past
one hundred thousand miles
I'm feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much
she knows

Ground Control to Major Tom
Your circuit's dead,
there's something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you....

Here am I floating
round my tin can
Far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do.

Sunday 10 January 2016

I Have Nothing To Say

Keeping in line with a recent T-Shirt conversation here is one which I should purchase.

Actually I probably have quite a lot to say but now is not the time.

I am quite busy, painting another Old Guard unit, some Union Cavalry, a WSS British Guard unit, making some Heroscape streams and bridges, reading a book on the AWI, emailing a Spanish flag making company about an error on their products and generally guddling about.

I have identified all the shows in 2016 that I plan to attend including Crisis in Antwerp (and we are taking our women), booked a months vacation in the Sunshine State for a much needed dose of Vitamin D.

How is everyone else?

What shows will I bump into you at?

Candidates are Albanich, Vapnartak, Carronade, Claymore, Border Reiver, SKELP, Battleground, Targe and Crisis.