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!"

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Going Small p.1 - 6mm Basing, Decisions & Concepts

Life is full of surprises, some little and less important - like everything in this hobby!  I'd been thinking of some concepts to "go small" due to my frequent play with the NT rules on a little 3x4' IKEA folding table in my office - frequently seen in AARs here.  But I can be quite picky when it comes to actually painting up and working with certain figures.  If I don't like the figs or the final result, I lose interest in the project.  

Perhaps, too, the irony of a 6mm or 10mm project on a 40mm ECW blog was a bit weighty!  

Whatever has happened with that project?  I got it to the point of playtesting the OHW rules several posts ago, here, and I've been neglecting it ever since. I'm a bad person!

Anyway, our inspiring pal over at Cambronne's Reply had a whole series of appealing and detailed posts RE: working and playing OHW with 6mm figures that I was at least willing to consider it.  I liked the possibility of a more historical top-down view of a deployed regiment but still wasn't sure about the figures themselves - yet things just kept moving that way.  

First, I found myself unsatisfied with the appearance of the 25mm figures when laid out for battle basing.  The small number of figs weren't the effect I wanted.  Below, some pics of concepts for bases and Units for WSS using my painted 25mm Old Glory Hessians. 

At top are the French-style deep formation of 4-5 ranks. At bottom are the British / Dutch style 3-rank formation. While one does look wider, the 2 v. 3 ranks of figures isn't obvious enough, and they look like a squad or platoon rather than a regiment. 

Below, same from the other side. French deep style up close and British style facing them up top. The Brits are on 6" bases and the French on 4.5" wide bases for 12 and 13.5 inches total a regiment. Just not liking this much, so did some drawing to see alternatives.

Below, some concept drawings made with a 6" craft stick upon which I drew the 4-fig blocks from Bacchus, just to get a feel of what they look like.  I thought the mass effect of 70-80 figures per regiment was quite nice, and also gave better distinction to the way that War of Spanish Succession regiments fought, French deep or British shallow.  The top drawing is British style, the bottom one French style.

While the large number of figures per regiment seems a tad daunting, the fact that one only needs four Units of infantry for OHW, then two each of Guns, Cavalry and Skirmishers [if one has skirmishers] made it seem more feasible.  The total number of infantry would be 300-400 a side in this concept. Still quite a few, I admit, but maybe they paint up faster? Couldn't make up my mind so this sat around for a few months.

Then I dropped by an FLGS to check on the hobby and a gaming pal. There, I got a few micro-games, historical ones in pouches. While I rarely touch boardgames anymore, I have always had a soft spot for simpler ones that are inexpensive, and Decision Games seemed to deliver on that. I got one for Operation Crusader [my third or fourth on that subject!] and one for Germantown. 

Altho the map was a bit disappointing regarding elevations in particular, the expanded design notes here certainly got me thinking a lot about larger games with smaller figures. Below, British set up just south of Germantown [now within Philadelphia's city limits] with incoming patriots in blue at road entry points.
This also got me thinking along the lines of grand strategic miniatures rules that one could use to resolve combat for a campaign game based off of a board game design.

The final straw was when Steve over at Sound Officer's Call let out that he had a pile of 6mm lead he no longer wanted and was willing to trade for it.  He even let me borrow the painted ones, about 14 little units worth, to try them out and see how I liked the scale. These were featured on this blog here and other posts about the ACW tinkering with the OHW rules. 

I also borrowed some of his 10mm painted napoleonics to see how they'd look on my basing concept of a brigade a base or so. Below, 10mm brigades in line and column with attached battery. 10mm figures by Old Glory.

Below, 15mm counters from Napoleon's Battles by Avalon Hill. Convenient and quite forgotten, these struck me as still too big for what I was thinking compared to the 10mm.

The final result was that I ended up with a load of many hundreds of the little tykes - altho they pretty much look like toy soldiers in the hands of my 40mm ECW generals as seen in the last post! Embarrassingly, I don't actually know how many figures there are - perhaps 1,000?  More? Steve didn't know altho he gave an estimate on prices and numbers. There are several of these tackle boxes filled with stuff! More as this situation develops.

12,000 Visits... updates, present and future projets

Hoy lads, look at the amazing detail on my son's toy soldiers...
but when was the American Civil War?
lovely little Adler sculpt, held by lovely big Sash'n Saber sculpt!
alternative title for this..."careful, they might be giants"

Sooo, have spent a lot of time on the latest and greatest projects, of which a bunch will be posted this week.  key suspenseful music... As can now be seen in the sub-title, I'm working on 6mm ACW - for this I blame Cambronne's Reply and Sound Officer's Call, two nice blogs you should check out!

One thing that I had to do was to finally re-title this blog.  This renaissance into ACW period is very much about the regiment [or battalion - whatever] and so one's commission into a regiment was a significant event for many officers. As I'm now covering the Renaissance as well as the Horse'n Musket period, this seemed like a better explanation and title.

Worth considering for yourself - my experience is that it is better to have one blog with lots of topics that is regularly updated than several blogs that are very occasionally updated.  I've narrowed things down to a couple of themes that are logically separated but it still might be better to have a couple less blogs! I recomend 2 max as they're easier to track and update than 3-4, and people will find more interests in you interests.

But to get back to the last update and future plans post, August of 2015, I had plans to:

  1. Experiment with the NT rules. Done! played them RAW as well as making the basic needed changes to complete the rules.
  2. Assembly of last 20-30 figures Not done! got started and made some progress with the cavalry, but haven't finished yet.
  3. Terrain acquisition and assembly as needed.  Worked on this for a while. Agreed to do a trial on a well-known gamer's paper ECW project, including printing and assembling the paper terrain he is planning to release. Trial went OK, but the buildings need more fine-tuning. I may have to reconsider using paper terrain or look elsewhere. It's a little awkward to have to get more terrain as I've loads of 25mm but I knew that getting into this. Paper seems like the best temporary expedient at this time.

As 12,000 visits gets closer and closer, I'm still working on the 40mm ECW project, but without the focus that Tidders at For Ye King has managed [God bless 'im!]. At present, I'll be prioritizing:

  1. Getting the ACW grand-tactical variant of NT's rules up and posting about the hobby side of the 6mm project.
  2. Some more 40mm ECW cleaning and assembly.  I actually made some good progress with the cavalry, really must finish them up as I do love the mounted in this era - they're so odd and exotic looking!
  3. check out some more painted examples at "Lead Gardens" HERE and read some more of his posts about his work for inspiration.
As always, thanks for checking in and stay tuned this week for 2-3 more posts on 6mm ACW! And if you've a better caption for the above pic, do let me know!