David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occassional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Plastic, Gnomes and Pixies

Well, I did wonder if that would get anyone's attention! If you are a fellow Brit reading this you should be more than familiar with the 'Grumpy Old Men' concept, where TV is prone to fill a 30 minute slot with talking heads of well known men {and latterly women} of a certain age and in the public eye. The concept is that they drone on for 30 minutes about everything that's wrong with the modern world, young folk, etc! It seems to me that the phenomena exists in abundance in our hobby too (have a glance at PMT and its like ~ well you know what I'm getting at I'm sure. I'm even tempted to join in myself sometimes: well, perhaps I will...
But first something more mundane: I've finished another French Infantry Battalion for my Wars of the French Revolution project, together with a General Humbert and ADC base and I've also based the 'Napoleon Crossing the Alps' which Matt kindly gave me for Christmas. I've also started a unit of Hussars for the French, the 2nd Regiment, and as I type the final two are sitting on the painting table awaiting the finishing touches. I only have one French Infantry Battalion to finish now, and I hope to do that next month before I pop of on a holiday for a break from the depressing British winter! I'll say more about our trip nearer the time, though the Agent says the tickets and documentation have arrived today!
I also have managed to play some games this month and even managed to win one, albeit narrowly and aided somewhat by Phil's poor dice and card draws!!! The win came on Monday in the SCW over at Phil's. He's not blogged it for technical reasons, so I feel its OK to post some pictures I took of his wonderful collection and atmospheric tabletop.
The tabletop battlefield























Republican International Brigade engage the Carlist Militia


















Republican Anarchists attack the Nationalist's left flank





















Pedro Aeroddo strikes for the Republican cause!



























After a slow start to 2015 I seem to have recovered my painting muse and the old eye seems to be behaving itself rather better than usual, as I said when I started, so here are some pictures of the latest additions to the Wars of the French Revolution project, all Trent Miniatures unless stated otherwise ~

































































 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A Foundry 'Napoleon'
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Now, back to where I started: I was reading a thread on the Lead Adventures Forum about the right size for a wargaming 'army', do note the last word there, as the answers seem to be overwhelmingly about 50 figures! I think that reflects the current trend in new rules combined with a move towards hobbyists who are cash rich but time poor. But an 'army' of 50 figures? Surely some failure to comprehend the meaning of the word there? When you look further afield the Forum seems overwhelmed with fantasy, modern skirmish {which I find  myself highly uncomfortable with}, Post Apocalypse and bl**dy Zombies! Wargaming? I don't think so myself. Where are the large multiplayer games with mounds of lead? Grimsby perhaps? Well, I know I exaggerate, but I do sometimes feel like one of a dying breed, patiently painting unit after unit to build up armies for what I would call a wargame, not a skirmish ~ although I do enjoy those too as you can see from the SCW game report above. But they are a different branch of the hobby in my view, and not a replacement for pukka wargaming with large armies of 28mm figures. Now, I feel better for that...
Toodle Pip for now!






 
 

14 comments:

  1. Very nice looking lay out for the SCW. A very nice French Battalion too! I don't think you are a dying breed Dave. These days I believe we are more spoilt for choice. I've recently moved into Modern skirmish, something which I had avoided for a while, but I can say it has kickstarted my passion for the hobby again. But I would still like to return to big units, at the moment I'm thinking ancients or ACW. Two periods which used to my favourites.

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    1. Thanks Mark, I;m glad we are not fading away! As I said though, I can't myself accept Modern skirmish gaming on moral grounds, but each to their own. I think I'd recommend ACW to you, I know just the rules...

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    2. I'm sure you do know just the set of ACW rules for me. :)
      I must admit I stayed away from modern skirmish for the reasons you express, but I've found recent events so interesting I was pulled into gaming the OIF conflict. I'm very tempted to try Neil Thomas' Ancient rules championed by Phil on his blog. Give me chance to drag out my Dark Age armies.

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    3. Thomas' Ancient & Medieval rules are fine if, like us, you are not an 'Ancient Period Specialist' as they seem to abstract a lot of detail. That said we've enjoyed our games and not found anything too outrageous occuring. We are planning a four chap game on Thursday using the rules, so look out for a report in due course.

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  2. An entertaining post as usual, thank you Victor ;-) Fifty man "armies" have to admit made me smile, youngsters eh? they no not. Thank you for posting pics, Blogger hates me or IE, maybe both, PC is on the blink now too, so perhaps that was it, though I think not.

    Marvin

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  3. Skirmish gaming is a good way to dip your toe in the water. I got started in colonials that way, and no have over 120 Zulus painted. Those periods that really interest you over time, you keep adding more painted figures to. Eventually, an army does emerge!

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    1. That's undoubtedly true in your case, Stuart, but I feel that's not typical of the modern entrant judging by what I come across on various Forum discussions.

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  4. Peter Gilder must be spinning in his grave, he had battalions as big as some peoples' 'armies'. For me DBA started the rot, with its 12 element, 3 or 4 figures to a base standard back in 1990.

    I actually prefer skirmish games above all others, but 50 figures is a platoon, not an army.

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    1. I agree with you about unit size, Jim, and I also enjoy skirmishing games. But they are not wargames, are they?

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    2. I suppose that would come down to your own personal view of what wargaming is. Boardgamers don't tend to regard miniatures players as doing anything but 'playing with toy soldiers'... as far as they are concerned they are the true 'wargamers'.

      Personally anyone can call it what they like, I'll just get on with what I do, enjoy it and let them worry about what they want to call it. ;-)

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    3. Its wargaming, but not as we know it, Jim!

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  5. Yeah - this gave me a little chuckle.. "armies"... things have changed

    http://18thcenturysojourn.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/cheap-napoleonic-armies-for-sale.html

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    1. Proof positive, Steve, that change is not always for the best?

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