Sunday 31 August 2014

Journeying towards an 18th century wargame (1)

Today is a very sunny Sunday in the Duchy of Tradgardland. After Mass and coffee at home I cut the grass. During the grass cutting ( often a good time to think over things) I was musing on my desire to do a "Portable Wargame" set up for the 18th Century.This was sparked off yesterday by finding some 40mm Prince August chaps in a drawer.They would look great in a gridded game with simple terrain I thought...
So far various of us in various places have played many different periods as small,gridded games. I myself have tried Napoleonic ,Interwar and WW2 to name but some. So is anyone out there working on a 18th century gridded game- European theatre? Are there rules out there ( Wargames Miscellany for example) which I have missed? The project seemed just right for Autumn evening- easily set up & away,simple to play and most of all hopefully fun.
Has anyone got any thoughts ideas to share with me...

Saturday 30 August 2014

Skirmish in the Carpet Valley

Saturday afternoon and I managed to get in a  solo game.I wanted to try out The Tin Brigadier rules by Ross.  Here are the starting positions of Army Red/White and Army White-
(Don't forget to click on them  for a closer view)Army R/W is at the bottom of the picture.

Army R/W cyclists cycle past Book Hill towards the enemy in the woods...
Army W lancers charge Army R/W infantry and a fraught melee ensues.
An exchange of fire between dismounted cyclists and infantry near Fir Wood.
Army R/W infantry flee from the valley in disarray...
Army R/W infantry advance with a General in attendance...
A fierce battle in progress for Other Book Hill.
Both armies retreated to tend their wounded and honours were even. A most enjoyable skirmish and I will definitely use these rules again.Figures were 54mm  and by various manufacturers including Brtains and Dorset Soldiers.
Many thanks for your  helpful replies to my previous post about getting a youngster & his dad into the hobby.I am still mulling things over. Incidentally he seems to have really enjoyed studying the Tudors at school,especially Henry viii

Sunday 24 August 2014

A way in...

Friends are up visiting us from England .They have a nine year old son. The father ( who wargamed with figures at school,but not since around forty years ago) would like to get his son into historical figure gaming  as opposed to fantasy. I said I would have a think for ideas/a way in.
.I am thinking of rules  etc etc
Any thoughts gentlemen?

Saturday 23 August 2014

Project placement

My new project as late summer becomes early autumn ( which I will endeavour to adhere to ) is to do some gaming set in the early ( initially)17th century in the settlements/colonies of the New World. It will be  (I hope) 40mm, toy soldier,Tin Brigadier,simple home adapted rules,fun,Close Wars,Deutsche Homage,gridded/ungridded  etc sort of inspired...

I cannot make up my mind whether I should host it on this current blog or neatly place it away thematically as many of you do on a period/game specific blog.There is indeed an attraction in a "one stop shop" for all my gaming but also I like the idea of  having a "New World" so to speak.What do you think?

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Another picture etc

Thanks for your comments you left at my last post.The "close war" rules are most interesting and I will have a go at using them,with a few amendments - to cover matchlock and flintlock for example. By the way this project is not FIW in another scale.
 .Anyone care to guess what period they thing I might be going to game?
I am  posting another picture to show three figures which are not the same as those I have already photographed-
The figure on the bottom right is skulking- a clue to a book I am re reading in preparation for gaming.amending rules.

Monday 18 August 2014

Old Toy Soldiers or picking up an old project & can you identify these?

I started this project last autumn when I was off work recovering from an op.I laid it aside and have thought about it on and off periodically. At the weekend I looked it out and completed a few figures from it.
They are 42mm Deutsche Homage figure from Irregular Miniatures.Not to everyone's taste I know but I do like Heyde/Haffner look of them.They are most definitely toy soldiers and that is the look I have gone for.They are an integral ,if not representative,part of one side.The others are moving forward on the paint bench,but will probably now have to wait until next weekend before being worked on.

Recently I have been on the look out for the opposition.I had thought of some more Irregular chaps but came across the figures below and bought them.They were waiting for me at home having arrived in the post today.They were just under £20 pounds,including postage, for around 25 of them-
I am pleased with these well played with figures.They are battered a little,different in scales with the bowmen kneeling being  smaller than the running and charging others-yet for me that just adds to the charm of this endeavour.Paint is flaking and I think I will restore/repaint them,trying to retain as much of the original paint as I can,They will make an excellent start to an opposition force. Can anyone shed light upon their age,manufacturer etc?There seem to be not marks on the bases as far as I can see. I am not interested really in their value but just want to find out more...

Sunday 17 August 2014


I'm down with fluy,coldy,throaty thing at present and have been most of the week-not to mention the ever tightening screw that is work. I've not felt like doing a lot this weekend but have been thinking...

I've been musing of late under the influence- of Heyde and Spenkuch that is!
I've been thinking of my German forebears in Kunzelsau in the last decades of the 19th Century.I've been thinking about the toy soldiers they would have possibly owned/played with.
Does anyone know of information about toy soldiers in per war Germany,I have Hans Roer's Speilfiguren and a reprint of a Heyde Catalogue of the period. I guess I am looking for background,availability relative price,influence etc- a sort of social history.
Finally does anyone know if Little Wars was played in pre war Germany at all or any parallel movement/rules of the time?

Saturday 9 August 2014

A question of scale...and some plans

For some time now I have been collecting the splendid Nightfolk miniatures from Northumbrian tin soldiers ( ) which are a joy to see.They are filled with whimsy,quite beautifully designed and cast. I have yet put much paint to lead but am thinking of how to utilise them in my gaming.They are very large however-
As you can see they would not really fit in with my "old school" fantasy figures/project. So decision one is to run some fantasy solo gaming, as I have started about three posts ago, with old Ral Partha and similar sized figures.This will have a D&D wilderness adventure vibe ,I think ,at the moment.
However that leaves what to do with the growing collection of Nightfolk.I think the figures are fantastic and everything one could want in the way of a characterful range of figures.So the thinking cap was on again and two options have occurred-
1) To use Songs of Blades and Heroes as they have traits which would reflect the very individual nature of the Nightfolk.
2) To use the Nightfolk in rival warbands and also have human warbands using my Elastolin/Doug Miller renaissance figures.They will be be mercenaries and/or town nightwatch/militia.
In terms of scale I think the 40mm figures will work well.In an ideal world of money no object I might even have gone for 54mm humans.Anyway here is a comparison of a 40mm  human and Nightfolk-
 As ever your comments and suggestions are most welcome.

Festival Friday

Jan and I were in Edinburgh yesterday.The City looked wonderful with restaurants etc spilling out onto the streets in the form of outdoor seating and dining.With the trams and crowds it could have any European city...
We were in to take an organised tour of the New Town gardens ( see this link for further info ) and began near the Scott monument having walked up from where we parked near the Botanics.
A newish garden behind Register house filled with lovely plants and interesting symbolism.
One of the Queen Street gardens.They are private gardens with keys needed to access them They are the gardens of the local residents of the streets that bound the garden.The Greek style temple was built in 1985 to cover a gas installation and looks great.It was a most enjoyable tour,we enjoyed talking with the others on it not to mention the guide herself.Do follow the link to read more and even book.I can recommend it highly.
Afterwards Jan and I had a most excellent lunch at the National Portrait Gallery ,did some wandering and shopping and got soaked walking back to the car in torrential rain not to mention thunder and lightening-a most enjoyable day out.
On our return two parcels awaited me- 24 Ancient British slingers and a large one containing three Nightfolk figures. As I return to work on Monday now is the time to plan priorities for projects, for painting and gaming (solo and otherwise) for the coming months...

Thursday 7 August 2014

Jacklex question...

Morning all,
Just a quick question to aid my planning.
Are Jacklex 20mm figures the same size/compatible with Airfix 20mm figures?

Wednesday 6 August 2014


On a hillside,beside a small wood, a group of adventurers are travelling across the land.
Three fighters,one cleric and a barbarian advance cautiously, always looking out for others following them. At the back of the party is their servant Baldric-
He is equipped for every eventuality and carries everyone's equipment including the abbey scullery sink.After much debate
the adventurers agree they need to recruit others to their party before they can set out on their quest...

Consulting an old friend...

I was using this to  look up  painting information this morning.It is from 1981 and I have an older edition from around 1975 too.I still refer to it quite often.
What "old friends" do you still regularly use for the hobby?

Sunday 3 August 2014

Claymore and after...

We went to the Claymore Wargames Show yesterday in Edinburgh in the only day of torrential rain this week.A good mix of traders and games were on display.I enjoyed chats with a number of fellow bloggers and other wargaming folk.I purchased the following-
Still great reads after all these years and the April 1978 one contains an interesting article on fantasy gaming by Charles Grant. I also bought a solitary figure I found in a rummage box.It is the sort of figure that lends itself to the imagination being sparked off greatly,just calling out for a story to be woven round it.I will post a picture of him when he is finished...
Afterwards we went back for a game at Phil's- Republican Romans versus Celts.A most enjoyable game ended with a draw. In spite of the terrible weather Jan and the girls joined some of Phil's family for a most enjoyable bbq. The cooking was done under a gazebo and the rain lashed down around but is was a most enjoyable evening.