How Men of Quality Resolve Differences

How Men of Quality Resolve Differences
Pudel and Peper attacks - an ugly but inevitable part of any 17th C. British Civil War, "Oh! The Shame of it All!"

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Defoe: "Memoirs of a Cavalier" Review

This particular book was loaned and then given to me by the Venerable Bede whose blog is linked here so special thanks to Bede!  The difficulty with inspiring writing for a gaming period / event is getting the right balance of action and story with something that is genuine.  In this work, Defoe [of "Robinson Crusoe" fame] shows his talent for writing in another's voice so well, that contemporaries [including veterans] thought it was a real memoir, not a novel!

The story is of a young cavalier who departs for a European tour with a friend during the 30YW and quickly finds himself drawn into the conflict despite personal reservations and family restrictions.  The military details are great, the revelations about service in two major wars is invaluable to inform the gamer of the period, and the story has lots of forward momentum.

I haven't finished, but I already recommend it to anyone interested in the ECW and who enjoys memoirs.  The language and punctuation is a bit odd but not hard to follow.  This edition also has a commentary at the start that can be skipped but it's there if you need it.

I give it a 9/10 Cornets for period flavor, inspiration, and storyline.

"An Embarrassment of Riches"!? Vote and help decide!

Great title from a history book about the Dutch during the reformation.  Apparently, they made a lot of money. 

In my case, I didn't _make_ a lot of money, as got a bit lucky with deciding to sell of all my Battlefleet Gothic fleets and then discovering that the entire line was dropped by GW in their infinite wisdom [sometimes I LOVE those guys!] so a quick tour of eBay auctions revealed high prices and aggressive bidding.  With great hopes, I spent several hours organizing and making good auctions with pics.  There were 16 Eldar ships, 11 Ork, an Imperial Fleet of 9 + 10 escorts, two chaos fleets of 7 and 5 plus escorts, a system defense fleet and a bunch of traders, and a intro box set mostly untouched with some extra bits.  The total over several auctions was over $900!  A few guys from France bought most of it, oddly.

So what shall I do?  It's way more than I ever thought I'd make in the near future on gaming auctions.  Based upon my rules, it's certainly available for gaming purposes, but I still have far more projects than I can do and need to sell off even more.  Decisions, decisions...

Well, you can help decide!  There's a POLL AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE so feel free to express your opinion and as we say in Philly - "Vote early, vote often!"

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Review: "On the Banks of Helicon - Early Music of Scotland" by the Baltmore Consort

More great period music.  lots of it is from the 17th C. and there are some lovely pieces from bagpipes to rounds to choral to great songs featuring the mellifluous Custer LaRue.  While it is NOT bawdy music, there's beautiful renderings of "In a Garden So Green", "My Heartly Service", "The Flowers of the Forest", "Our Father God Celestial", "The Scots Marche".  Highly recommended to keep you motivated while you clean the mold lines off your 40mm figures!

"Take my 25mm - PUHLEEEEZE!"

Hey, you can "take my wives, puhleeeeze, too!"  [with apologies to Henny Youngman:\
but my favorite line is at the end - "Am I too late for the garbage?  No, jump in!"]

In response to overwhelming demand [well, truth be told, one suggestion, but I'm very pliable] I'm posting more details about my 25mm Old Glory auctions.  Several sold already and are at the feedback stage.  just a few are left.  My painting is what I would call "superior wargame table standard" which is to say that most of it is block painting with drybrush highlighting and then the miracle dip [the only painting method approved by the Pope in Rome - beware ye heretics!] for a solid if not Golden Daemon paint job.  Yes, I've gotten lots of compliments from people over the years, but mostly for the details I add to knights shields and such [for which I thank the inventors of the Micron Pen and a steady hand.  Run's in the blood - dad's a surgeon, dontcha know?].  Anyway, here's pics:

OK, I'll add that I think the brushwork on the above captain's horse is quite good, if I do say so m'self.
Anyway, my eBay ID is "Double-a-68" and here's the auction:
Personally, I think they're a bargain.  Having shipped and received from Sri Lanka I can assure you that you don't get figs painted this well.  At $60 you're paying $25 over the price of the figs [$40 with the OG discount] so unless you make about $2/hour, you're coming out ahead on this auction.

Also up are some generals / characters, and a brigade of infantry and a brigade of cavalry.  They are being sold below the Old Glory discount, so it's something like 45% off or so, with no tax!  Until someone bids on them, I can withdraw the auction so feel free to send me an offer.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Progress and Proceeding...

Happy that in just a few weeks I've managed to clean and assemble 34 figures: 20 S&S Musketeers, 10 Romanoff Musketeers, and two S&S Mounted Officers.  Especially since this is a much larger stage in the bag-to-table process than with 25s!  Painting I believe will be faster since the figure is bigger and easier to work with, and I don't plan to do much more detailing than with my 25s.  Well, maybe for the officers... :)

Next up, I plan to keep on assembling!  I've 20 S&S Unarmored Pikemen, and 5 Foot Command from both S&S and Romanoff.  As there's a bit more room for personality with them, command figs are always fun.  My plan is to assemble figures for regiments, then paint the regiment as a whole to bring more character and unity to the unit.  Also, since I don't have a specific set of rules for which I'm basing them, I need some time to think about that.  As I'm writing my own rules I plan to play with, I have plenty of latitude but it certainly takes up more thought than just basing them for Pike and Shotte or something.  Also, I promised myself I couldn't buy any more figures until I fully assembled all of these!  Then as the regiment building system gets under way, I may need some specific purchases to round them out.  

I've ordered some bases from Corsec, and when they arrive that'll be another post with pics.  After I get those I'll mount the figs on the bases for painting convenience and also to start experimenting with the novel action sequence and conventional firing system I'm working on for the rules.

Romanoff Figures: Cleaned, Assembled, and Reviewed!

Two packs of Romanoff 30YW / ECW figures.  These I got from S&S who export them from far as I can tell.  I _believe_ that OGUK also adds to the line with new sculpts periodically.  At the S&S catalogue, they are:
40RTW4  Musketeers - firing and loading with felt hat             (5 figs) $17.00
40RTW4a Musketeers - firing and loading with monmouth caps (5 figs) $17.00
Unfortunately for the pic, I sorted out all the monmouth caps for pikemen and added more felt brimmed hats from S&S.  But you can see what you get, basically.  Each pack had five identical bodies (humph, would prefer at least two different bodies) and six sets of arms/gear to make the 5 figures.  So you can make three loading/three firing, then two of the other.  Five nicely sculpted swords and I believe it was six heads, maybe a couple more (the command pack has 8 heads for 5 figures).

*research point - Osprey ECW vol 1: Infantry suggests that the monmouth / knit caps were favored by the pikemen as they wore them under their helmets for added comfort, while the brimmed hats and caps like the montero were favored by musketeers [perhaps to keep sun out of the eyes while firing?  maybe the brims helped keep the lock dryer during wet weather firing?].  Interesting and makes sense, so I'm running with it*

The amount of mold lines, flak etc was average for an OG casting, but there weren't any really bad ones across the face and such, and most cleaned up easy.  Only annoying problem was a line that was _in_ the trouser side, sort of a groove in fact, that resisted all but the most aggressive filing attempts.  In the end I had to settle for a combo of filing and filling them, unknown if it'll work.

Assembly was not bad and often fun.  I enjoyed making natural poses and thinking about what the guy was doing.  Also, as a former military man, I know that during any drill there's always some variation in how people stand and do things.  During this period drill was even less strict and uniform, so there should be more variety.  With the slight variation in the arms and different heads, several different figures can be made. 

At $17 for 5 [$3.40 ea.] they cost 50 cents more a figure than S&S 5-packs, and $1.15 more than the "value-pack" of 20 firing figures from S&S.  So the bottom line is get them for pose variety - if you value that then great, but if not go for the S&S, I guess.

Now, how do they turn out?  Well, just fine, really.  But it takes a bit of modelling to do it with the separate arms, weapons, and swords, and heads!  I found it pretty fun, but not something I'd do for an entire project.

Cleaned and assembled, five giving fire and 5 loading.  Are the poses accurate?  One seems to be - my copy of de Gheyn has the exact loading posture, holding musket and priming the pan w' fine powder from a flask:
And this is how my assembly came out:
I also tried to vary their relative foot positioning so they didn't look _quite_ so identical in body.  I think with the painting and basing I can succeed in this a bit more, altho for real variety I'll have to await the Montrose highlanders Chris is progressively offering this summer and fall!  Now the shooting posture and posing:

The Romanoff pose has the gun crooked in the bicep/elbow [ouch!] disregarding recoil.  The de Gheyn postures don't show that in the postures just before/after firing either, so in my mind they've been taught their postures by a veteran who has them holding their 'peece' slightly lowered just before/after actual firing.  They still look just fine and having done lots of shooting/drilling, I'm certain that there's not just one way to do it, and the period definitely had lots of self-proclaimed experts with their own ways.  Fair enough.

This stage went fine - big question for me is will the priming process fill up the gaps between the arms and bodies a bit more - they're too obvious right now.  I'll try some gap fill and see how it goes.

Overall, I give them a 7.5 for average casting and value, but superior posing and pose variety.

Philosophical Rumination: "Project Focus" or "An approach to the hobby"

"Of course you will consider an ECW gaming project - 
you are a servant of his Majesty are you not?"  

Since the subjects of this blog, my two as-yet-unnamed colonels, were philosophical people with a certain amount of education mandated by their class, it seems suitable to put in interludes about the "how?" of this project.

After a number of moves caused by 'real life issues' it was clear that I had too much gaming stuff.  It wasn't just the acts of moving it, but I was forgetting I even owned some of the items and had contemplated some of the projects!  32 years of miniature wargaming haunted me.

Then there were some lengthy times with hardly gaming at all and it was clearly time for a reckoning.  Additionally, as a practicing Christian who was becoming more serious about the actual practice of the faith, it was clear that my wargaming stuff was possessing me as much as I possessed it.  Imagine, being held hostage by little army men who had no life of their own!  It's like they'd won their victory just by being on the field (or in the basement, under the bed, in the closet and preying upon my mind...).  The steps I took:

  1. Payback. At an especially tight financial time I was reviewing my credit card for tax filing and kept running into wargaming expenses from the previous year.  Some of the expenses were over $100!  I totaled it all up and was appalled at the year's total.  So sales of wargaming stuff had to "reimburse" my credit card.  Also, I needed a...
  2. New Rule. No money spent on gaming items unless it was funded by the sale of gaming items.  This included books for inspiration or research of a gaming project.
  3. New Account. Easy to say but complicated to do off one account.  I therefore opened up a new account solely for gaming purposes.  Proud to say that I paid off 2011 - 2012 gaming expenses and in 2013 have spent zero "new money" on gaming.
  4. Painful Decisions. Things had to go.  I made lists and was shocked at how many projects there were!  In my definition, building an army was usually a project, or working in a new period / scale might be, etc.  First consideration was time - was I going to get to this project in the next year or so?  If not then...
    • If the figures could be replaced easily (multiple manufacturors, not OOP, etc) then they had to go.  Bye-bye to 25mm tricorne era stuff (FIW, 7YW, AmRev), 25mm Trojan War (both sides), 28mm heroic sci-fi skirmish, 
    • If the figures couldn't be replaced [OOP] then are there other figures just as appealing?  If yes, then bye-bye.  Lots of 5th-6th edition GW stuff went, including Dwarfs, Wood Elves, Chaos Dwarfs, and Empire items.
    • If I had forgotten I owned them and didn't see any near-future use for them, or I didn't like the scale/figs any more, then bye-bye.  Two divisions of painted ACW went (despite sentimenal value - they were some of my earliest successful painting projects), along with all the stuff I was going to finish painting to complete them.
    • If I'd given up on the rules or the period, then bye-bye.  Battlefleet Gothic is sitting on eBay right now because despite the excellent rules it's too hard to get in a game.  Also, I've concluded I prefer to re-enact history than fight even a great sci-fi game.  It's just too artificial for me otherwise.  Having great success with 1/700 WWII using GQIII made me realize that no one imagines technological challenges and issues that are as interesting as the real ones those guys faced around Guadalcanal.
    • If the project was only one side and the other side was hard to find a gamer for, and I wasn't about to finish the second side to present / host my own games, then bye-bye!  So Flames of War 15mm WWII survived b/c I KNOW I can get in a game of that at some point or another.  25mm ECW not so much - bye-bye!  On eBay now, and much of the painted stuff sold but there's some mint metal still there - cheap!
  5. eBay / Bartertown.  I got more skilled in doing both, often with great results.
  6. Fun Decisions!  With a growing account of 'gaming bucks', despite giving "extra" back to my regular expenses, I began considering what I wanted to do.  40mm had been on my mind for a while - years, actually.  Mainly seeing Sash and Saber displayed at Chris' Lancaster 'con booths.  I also nearly did it in 2009 with medievals, but it just seemed like too much work, too expensive, and there was already too much gaming stuff around.  With many projects sold, for sale, or being lined up for sale, I felt more free to just start a project with both sides.  As I'm sympathetic to both Cavaliers (wouldn't we all enjoy being Lord so-and-so for a bit?) and Roundheads (I'm a congregationalist so love the Levelers and their Leveling) it's fun to play both sides, so paint both sides also.
  7. The ECW has it all - enough figs for variety, plenty of interesting units and weapons, loads of eccentric personalities, and archaic terminology which makes it all more exotic!  No friend, that's not a drill stance it's a "posture".  Plus they misspell tons of words and that makes it fun, also.  The Pike/Shotte/Horse/Gun balance provides plenty of challenges for the armchair general.  There's tons of research material and I even had most of what I needed.  Finally, the units look like they'll be colorful to paint and look good painted.
  8. Blogging!  Finally, Tidders blog made me realize how much fun the blogging could also be.  Thank you Allen!
There's the story in a nutshell.  Is there a "12-step program" to mastering your gaming habit?  No, but following several I've mentioned may help you approach it more responsibly. 

"Pray the Lord's strength empower you to master that demon - wargaming.
And keep your powder dry!"

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Review of novel "Master Sawbones"

It is 1643 and the Civil War rages throughout England...
The book is set in Hampshire where some bitter fighting took place.  For the Main Character, Nick Howard, his loyalty to his King is clear.  After success as a scout and patrol leader, he's recruited to be a spy posing as a surgeon deep in Parliament dominated territory.  Events slowly spin out of control as he falls in love with the wife of a parliament colonel.

This is a good read, even though it seems like it might be a "woman's romance" it isn't.  The main characters have real personalities and unlike so many modern novels they have some dignity and yes, private lives away from even the reader's prying eyes.  So this is a novel in the Rosemary Sutcliffe style and Ms. Lawrence provides plenty of period detail among her representative characters.

Like most modern authors, there's weak comprehension and presentation on religious matters which is unfortunate as the congregational movement was the heart and soul of the Parliament side and deserves more than it gets here.  On the other hand, Nick's loyalty to King Charles isn't explained either, not even the dubious stability the monarchy provided that was lost when the king was beheaded.

So a tightly written and satisfying character study without a lot of reflection.  But since that's the way so many live, it has a ring of truth about it.  In any event, it's much more refined than reading Nicholas Carter, who clearly has a low opinion of humanity in general.  Overall, if you're a fan of the ECW period, this is a great deal from the library or the $5 to get your own hardback as I've done!

FYI, the cover is a detail from the painting The Siege of Basing House by Ernest Croft.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Review of Sash & Saber Musketeers Advancing, 40 ECW4

Pics of my cleaned, primed and assembled S&S Musketeers Advancing - 40ECW4.  You get 20 for $45, which is $2.25 a figure, a great value for one's line units.  I would say that they had an average amount of cleaning for Old Glory castings.  Some fine mold lines, some parts that I filed lines deeper, the occasional flash.  The heads add great variety - it's amazing what even changing the position of a head can do!  Again, there are three variations in a 7-7-6 ratio.

My one complaint is that the sword scabbards are unusually thick and attached to the base with a large chunk of flash.  This has to be cut with metal snips and then I used my Dremel with a metal carver to shape the big thick rectangular sculpt a bit.  They would be much better off as a separate casting which would enable them to have a lot more detail and be correctly sized (scaled up they're about the size of a 2by4 that's 3' long!).  The ones on the Romanoff sculpts are separate and they're lovely scabbard sculpts - perfect proportions and nice details overall.  Compared to regular Old Glory they are almost twice as much - the 25mm are $1.16 ea without any discount - but they are nearly twice as big!

I give them an 8 for variety, 8 for value, and 7 for overall sculpt/casting quality, for a 7.5.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

"With whom do you consort, Roundhead currr/ Cavalier dog??"

Thought it was about time to post a review of one of my favorite "inspirational cds" for painting my ECW figs.  The Baltimore Consort plays music of the 16th-18th C. as a consort (type of period ensemble) with authentic instruments and accessible interpretation.  So they sound good and are also generally understandable, basically.  This fall marks the beginning of the group’s 31st season as one of America’s favorite early music ensembles. The Consort has made fourteen recordings on the Dorian label and has toured widely in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

My favorite recording from them for the ECW is "The Art of the Bawdy Song" with the Merry Companions (a pick-up catch song and beer swilling group, far as I can tell - the certainly look like they're having fun in the album's pics!).  These songs are from an earlier period and would probably be either "old favorites" by the 1640s or have been reworked to similar melodies.  However the lyrics are priceless and the subjects timeless and of great interest to all soldiers from the Phoenicians to the SEALS.  You also learn a lot about the culture in a "first-hand" manner more like a memoir than a secondary source history.  And how can you not like lyrics such as:
You're a rogue, you've cheated me, I'll prove before this Company,
I caren't a farthing sir, for all you are so stout!
Sir you lye, I scorne your word, or any man that wears a sword,
for all you huff who cares a Turd, or - 'Who cares for you!?'
[can't you just see the overdressed, boozing officers in a tavern?]

Other songs include "The Old Fumbler", "My THING is My Own", & "Come, come, let us drink".  Also to my amusement I learned that "the Irish Jig" is period slang for sex.  Perhaps in a field, hard to tell from the song.  And the song is hilarious.

Anyway, I've three other albums by them, and they are NOT bawdy but are still very well done.  They provide a refreshing change of pace from the modern rat race and help us to enter another time and place, and isn't that one of the draws of historical wargaming?  Perhaps a future post will feature the opinions of my commanders upon their men's off-duty activities...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Musketeers - March!

Couldn't wait so broke open one of the two large packs of S&S figures.  I've one of pikes and one of Musketeers, at 20 figs for $45 they're the best bargain at $2.50 a fig.

REVIEW: They are quite crisp [hard metal and relatively clean] and have many nice details, including snapsacks, powder flasks, "apostles", bows on britches, and some nice details on the Matchlocks.  There are three poses advancing, and you get a perfect 7-7-6 spread.  They also come with musket rests [nice touch for early war especially], 3 sets of 4 brimmed hat heads + 2-3 individual ones, 2 bare heads, 2 monmoth/knit cap heads, 5 montero cap heads.  There is a bit of flash in hard-to-reach spots, but the mold lines are faint.  I don't find them to be unusual in cleaning either way [unusually clean or messy].

These can easily be used for early or late with and without rests.  The head variety is solid for brimmed hats but the caps / bare heads are only 9, so one would probably have to ask for extra montero hats, for example, which I am certain they'd be happy to provide (based upon past excellent service with Old Glory who casts and ships for S&S).  With only heads to attach they'll be a snap to assemble.

Overall, I give them an '8' for solid sculpting, nice options, easy assembly and metal quality.

The Colonels Prepare to Clash...

Despite years of relatively amicable co-existence in the county, and two years of service together in the English regiment during the Dutch Wars, these two gentlemen find themselves in opposition to one another for King and Parliament.  It makes a sad but all-to-common part of the unfolding story of 1642 England.  

When Charles raised his standard in Nottingham on August 22nd, both gentlemen fully expected to find the other on their side and looked forward to serving together again in The Cause.  So certain in fact that not until they found the other _also_ recruiting near the county seat did they realize the other's terrible choice!  

Startled words were exchanged but blows were avoided between the respective recruiting parties.  Still, having known the other man as a person of fine character, good breeding and unimpeachable honor, it remains a disturbing breach to relations.  Of what cost to this and other friendships will the coming struggle be??

My two cleaned and assembled commanders.  Part of the fun with these figures is designing them yourself with a little story in mind.  The fellow on the left is my Cavalier.  Disdainful of his opponents, he's dressed for a hunting party.  He refuses to don armor since they'll "disperse the Roundhead rabble like the outlaws they are" and has lost his hat with his rushing about.  He's well known for his sanguinary disposition, fiery temper, immoderate drinking, course language, and - since the death of his second wife - late-night carousing.  He's shouting 'Onward!  Onwards! For King and the Right!' as he advances, urging his men to follow him to Glory.

My Roundhead is much more subdued, having finished his morning prayers and interrupted his  reading of the scriptures to deal with the ongoing situation developing just outside the borders of his estates.  He is soberly dressed for war in a "back and breast" and holds his horse steady as he directs the placement of his troops in a professional, scientific manner quite in touch with the latest military studies and his Dutch experience.  He regrets the entire situation, but sees it as only his duty for uphold the ancient rights of all Englishmen against the King's rule of tyranny. 

No names yet - those they get when they're painted.  I think some family names from my British side are in order - more fun than historical personalities and I can't make any research errors!

Aside from getting the bodies to sit properly on the horses, the cleaning and assembly of the figures was quick and fun.  Their stories and personalities were formed during the process of selecting their heads and arms.  While I think they both are representative of a typical officer of their sides, they each have some individuality that I'll flesh out as the blog continues.

As the forces assemble, the first construction had to be the commanders.  This gave me time to work with the parts and get a feel for the figures.  Next up I have to work on the infantry commands, trusted men who will be under them in the battles to come, along with some musket-men who can move fast to seize key features in the county for their Cause.  This also suits my painting approach, as I like to simultaneously work on special characters with individual details and common soldiery I prep and paint in 'assembly-line fashion'.

Ta-DAAAAAA!  The Sash & Saber "40 ECW 204" bag contents revealed in detail!  Special thanks to yarr68 at TMP for the advice to use Google Chrome to work on the blog instead of Internet Explorer (obviously a Google conspiracy at work here...).

In the bag you get 2...horses [walking, standing] 2 bodies [not attached - they are demonstrating my choices of body+horses], 4 heads [bare, helmet, and 2 broad-brim hats [1 lots facial hair and 1 less facial hair], 5 arms [baton, sword waving, sword pointing, finger pointing, waving hat] and 4 holstered pistols that attach to the knee of the figure with a peg [you can only not use by filling in the hole].

The two figs are $17.  The selection of bits is great and they fit together quite easily with minimal fitting.  Only slightly more work than assembling a cannon or knight with shield and spear.  Flash and mold lines are average amount for an Old Glory figure [ so more than perhaps a premium casting] but clean up much more easily since the figure is so much larger the files and such spare the detail.  My one irritation is that the bodies don't fit well to the horse - the tails of their coats and one's sash ends are in the way of the raised saddle back.  They both required some fitting, but one needed a lot of work to get him to settle properly.  I'm OK with that for a general figure, but not thrilled.  
I give them a 9 for sculpting, price, options, assembly, but -2 for the bodies not fitting the horses which I consider to be an avoidable sculpting error.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

First Purchase! Sash & Saber + Romanoff

With most of my ECW 25mm eBay auctions making great progress in bids, I decided ten days ago that I could allow myself to place an initial order of 40mm Sash and Saber (from whom one gets Romanoff 30YW in the USA, also):
Romanoff are from the UK but S&S imports them.  They are more 30YW but the differences are little to none for most figures.

The order included the following, and Chris explained by a _quick_ reply via email that there are extra heads and weapon in the packs, including heads with the Montero Cap (unmentioned in the fig descriptions and pics):

20 Unarmored Pike, 20 Muskteers Advancing, Command A [5]
Cavalry in Buffcoat & Cav Command [10], 2 mtd Generals,
A Romanoff Command [5] and two Romanoff firing musketeers [10].

Total of 60 foot, 12 mounted for $240 USD [including shipping]. Infantry are about $3 USD and Cavalry $10. USD 

So, more expensive than big Bicorne and Renegade figs, but not by much with shipping and such figured in for those figs from UK. The foote come in around $2.50/ea, but the horse average out to $10 with command  [lotta lead I guess!].  Price comparison:
Renegade (shipped to US) = $2 foot, $5 mtd
Bicorne (  "       "          ) = $2.50 foot, 6.50 mtd
S&S/Romanoff [free shipping ] = $2.75 foot, $10 mtd
But as I will have smaller units of the 40mm, it probably won't be a lot more than a premium 28mm project.  The cav is the big expense, and I plan to have plenty of it!

Excited about painting them as well, since it'll be a snap to put on a few extra details quickly with my trusty Micron pens.

First Post! "Why ECW" and "Why 40mm?"

Well, both are good [rhetorical I admit] questions.

English Civil War was one of my first gaming adventures with my first club, then the North Penn Wargamers.  They'd a somewhat battered collection of ECW in 20-25mm but I loved the variety of weapons and the strange terminology.  But there's lots of reasons to game this period:
  • Plenty of resources in English,
  • Plenty of novels/memoirs in English - always keep me motivated to paint and play,
  • Colorful uniforms and unusual styles [compared to now],
  • Interesting weapon combinations - sword/pistol cav, pike/shotte infantry,
  • Good balance btw Horse & Foote, with Artillery a bit weak - good!
  • Firepower is important but not overwhelming,
  • The miniatures fight for either side since there are few distinct uniforms, yay!
  • The war itself is an interesting clash of both religion and politics, giving plenty of reasons for almost any wargame event or scenario,
  • Lots of interesting personalities and units,
  • Lots of interesting small campaigns and clashes.
Whew!  Isn't that more than enough to drop some silly project like starship combat or anything by Games Workshop??

I put my 25mm Old Glory onto ebay, which was a pre-condition of buying the 40mm. I refuse to do it in two scales.  Painted buffcoat regiment of cav, 20 gunners with three bigger guns and eight small, and about a hundred pike and shot infantry with command.  Some of the auctions have sold, but for those of you who insist on 'playing small' my eBay ID is "Double-a-68" :

This of course begs the question, "Why 40mm - especially when you started it in 25mm??"  Which a gaming buddy did ask, and it's a good question.  The bottom line is that I wanted to use these big figures - more visually interesting and easier to paint, I believe.  As I get older and move to glasses and other optical improvements, the thought of working in figure sizes I can't see except as fuzzy little blurs is just too much!  Also, this is America - Bigger is the New Better, right?  And I have to add that I was inspired by the pictures of other's work in 40mm. 

Finally, Chris at Sash & Saber is doing a great job making it all affordable at good wargame quality.  The net cost, if one makes regiments with a few less figs than some of the larger 28mm like Renegade, can actually cost less on a project basis if not quite on a figure-by-figure basis.

It was a little hard to put up figures that were finished as well as a project that was on its way, but the actual painting didn't inspire me despite the high quality of the Old Glory ECW line.  Also, as I my new goal is to always field both sides of any gaming project, I figured I may as well start something fresh.

Enjoy the cartoon I finally got up with the correct sizing - it's my favorite ECW humorous bit.  Prince Rupert and his famous poodle face off against Pym and 'Pepper' it seems, with the well-dressed and coiffed cavaliers to the left and the somber commoners to the right.