Tuesday, 26 January 2010


The Spencer Smith plastics have been de-flashed and washed -twice- in warm soapy water. They already look presentable. I'll post no pics this time. So let's throw a stick in the hen house...

I've been musing on that famous "tongue in cheeck" humour almost everybody is talking or writing about. I mean, do you have to use it to be classed as Classic or Old School and aren't you allowed to use it to be "modern". Some already consider a French unit named Regiment du Camembert or a general called Boursin  as T-i-C.  Some people -I feel- are just trying to hard ,but -to my taste- it does only really work when it comes sporadically and naturally. Unless of course you're making a movie or writing a book, gently poking fun at some aspects of a certain genre, while still relying on its conventions. And if writing gaming rules or books: what genre is the subject of the T-i-C humour? Real war, the gamers themselves or other game rules?
So, yes, I do think T-i-C is a bit overrated. Maybe one should, when writing something not to be taken seriously, just use a subtle sarcasm or use a more ironic, slyly humorous writing style, instead of all that T-i-C stuff.
Or is it me living "abroad" -being Belgian, no less- that I just don't get it? I guess that's what happens to a population that lives in Europes most fought over and occupied piece of land: they loose their sense of humour.
Now where is that chocolate?

Happy Gaming

Friday, 22 January 2010

Recruiting cavalry and "classic" Vs. "Modern"

This time introducing the birth, or rather, conception of a new unit. And some thoughts on unit organisation.

Leopold sat in his office wondering why it was taking Kolonel Nyudrev that long to equip what was to be his prime unit. But he guessed that in a young State as the DDU it would not be simple to set up or change, from one day to another, all the administration and regulations and laws so that even the smallest thing as paying for uniform buttons could be performed. But he knew (from his "inside" men) Kevinovich Nyudrev was earning his pay.
More importantly, he had just heard of a band of horsemen roaming the east banks of the river Meuse. He suspected they were former Flemish-Austrian cavalry that had deserted. His idea was -as he didn't have the means to try and catch them- to find a way to approach them and offer them a job as the first cavalry unit of the DDU army. That way he would have solved the problem of the rogue horsemen holding up merchants and travelers and at the same time he would have the means to catch other highwaymen. Maybe they could even serve as his mounted bodyguard, or as messengers or even as spies at the borders.

-A band of  horsemen ready to rob unsuspecting travelers, kill their women and rape their dogs.-

As you can see, a small Ebay purchase was delivered by post this morning. So I'm now the proud owner of some original plastic Spencer Smith miniatures: 13 dragoon troopers and two charging officers . Two smallish squadrons?

I've been contemplating how to fit in"classic" (as defined by Phil Olley) and other (modern?) wargaming. The clue is that I reversed my reasoning. Instead of combining several smaller "modern" units into a "classic" unit and calling that a brigade, I'll be deviding the "classic" units in smaller "modern" ones. Clever, not?
The classic 48 model regiments can be broken up in two or three smaller "modern" units, depending on the rules being used. All that's needed are a couple of extra standard bearers as there will be enough drummers, officers and NCO's. Now that will of course give three identical units, uniform wise that is. That doesn't really trouble me. Maybe I can fidle around with pompom colours or something. My smaller special "modern gaming" units (i.e. The Hasselse Garde) can then become "Charge" or "The Wargame" independent companies or detachments.
I"ve also started -again- to study painting techniques. I have yet to decide a name and uniform for the new DDU cavalry unit, but the painting style will be totally different from the (in)famous Hasselse Garde. Slowly but surely things progress...
Does anybody have any idea how to straiten the swords on the plastic Spencer Smiths, hot water maybe?

By the way, anybody wanting to get rid of Spencer Smiths, Willie by Suren or Tradition by Stadden can always contact me. But I don't intend paying as much as I did for the plastics, knowing I can buy new models in metal. Also, I probably wouldn't consider paying to high a price for painted miniatures as I would probably end up stripping the paint anyway. That's why I didn't bid on those Spencer Smith Cavalry and infantry on Ebay. I should know who the seller is. From the background on the pictures on Ebay I'm sure I've seen pictures in some publication or on the net of his gaming table before. I also know that in the end the units weren't sold. It's a pity...I wish I could contact that person. 
As always: any comments, ideas, suggestions, remarks, free miniatures or cash are welcome...

Happy Gaming

Monday, 11 January 2010

The Ferraris map

Maybe I should explain that when you arrive at the map of Belgium with the numbered squares: you click the square you want, for example 170 Seraign. Above the map you the see "Seraign in blue. Click this and you'll arrive in the actual map. With the controls you can move around, zoom, etc...(I think with a right click you can even print). Anyway, if you look at the example, try and find the Rocourt 1746 battlefield as it could be found some 20 years after the battle (just north of Liege).
You can also enter a place name above the map, but best write the modern day version in Dutch or French.

Happy Gaming

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Taking a plunge

So I went swimming...in the North Sea. Big deal...

Today my regiment, the glorious 1ste Regiment Jagers te Paard/Gidsen, organised its annual New Year's Dip. -3° C, an ice cold wind and water temperature around freezing point. To make matters worse it was low tide, meaning a 500m run to the sea and back. They didn't say I had to do that when I joined the army.
Let's just say it was rather chilly on the way in and bloody cold on the way out.

And introducing a few links.

I would also like to put a couple of links in the spotlights.
First of all -in the favourite places section- you'll find two of my prefered uniform guides. One is the site "Grosser Generalstab" which displays -I think- the complete collection of known Knötel plates. I named by it's title: Richard Knötel's Uniformenkunde. The other is the "1789-1815 Revolution et Empire" site, showing the work of Bernard Coppens on Napoleonic uniforms, concentrating on the 100 days campaign and Waterloo. Click "Bernard Coppens Napoleonic uniform plates" in the favourites section. On the left side of this site, click on Uniforms for the general uniform plates and click Waterloo on the left and then uniforms in the main page for the specific Waterloo uniform plates. These plates are intended as old style "paper soldiers". They are also available as prints.

Next , under the same section, is  a link to the "Kabinetskaart van de Oostenrijkse Nederlanden", also known as the Ferraris map (after the author: Count de Ferraris). The link will bring you the the introduction page of the NGI website. Here you can order fascimile, an atlas, plots or a digital copy of said map. In the right upper corner, click "bekijk hier de Ferrariskaart" to bring you online to the map, which you can scroll and enlarge. I find this map important for several reasons. First of all, it shows the lay of the land in the 18th century. Ideal for drawing maps for campains set in Flandres and much better as a source than modern day maps. It also gives an idea how the 18th century and Napoleonic battlefields looked like as most of the woods and roads or tracks are pictured still in their original state. On some battlefields you can still see where Ferraris drew redoubts, now vanished, but then still recent remants. So if you would like to take a look at the fields of Oudenaarde, Rocourt, Neerwinden (Landen), Waterloo, Wijnendale...this is the place to be. The maps are incredibly detailed, so if you look at the vauban or older defence works and then go to google earth you can really trace the fortifications, especially in  places North, North/West of Brugge, near the coast. It's a thrill to then find these places in the field. I own four fascimile sheets of this map and they are treasured items.
If I read correctly, only four copies of the original map were ever made. Napoleon is supposed to have been in possesion of one of these copies during the 100 days campaign. Needless to say the DDU also has a copy of this map.
If you want to order the complete Ferraris atlas, it weighs in at 12 kg, could be some expensive postage...

Hoping this is usefull and not only "old news". If anybody needs translation, I'll be happy to oblige. The NGI site can also be visited in French. Now I think of it, they also sell a map of Belgium with all possible military historical sites: war cemetaries, statues, remnants, fields of battle, museums, ...from early history up to the Second World War. Could be useful to anybody wanting to tour Belgium.

Happy gaming


Sunday, 3 January 2010


 Almost there...

Don't click on the pictures to enlarge...just enjoy the view from a distance.
You just had to do it...
Anyway, work on faces, painting metal bits and general touching up...and then two coats of Pledge Future Shine followed by basing.

Happy Gaming

At last...

...I've got some painting done.

Thanks to the motivating comments I've had two post ago...I've given my projects a good look and proceeded. Last night and this evening I managed two painting sessions which leaves the Hasselse Garde with only the metal bits to do. I will probably not paint the buttons on the leggings...I tested on a figure and it was just awfull.
I also sketched a map for my Imagi-ancients campaign, giving broad lines to the project by defining which countries represented what style of army (à la Hyboria by Tony Bath ). When this project takes of I'll probably start a second blog, just to keep things tidy. At this point all is scribed carefully in my scrapbook.

I would also like to mention the many links to the blogs of like minded souls. One in particular is very dear to me...the Return of the Poacher blog. The projects shown there (remember my first postings?) are akin to mine. The only difference is that Christines projects are moving along at a steady pace.
We really are spoilt with high quality blogs. Special mention to Phil Olley who has replaced his War Cabinet with three ( yes...3) new blogs ( one of which in co-authorship). And not only that, his partnership with Charles Grant resulted in several publications which are a must have for me. And I'm confident more is under way.

Battlegames magazine is now in regime and Henry Hyde now delivers a first class gaming magazine. I even entered the Minden competition in the last issue. I hope someone abroad wins this one, that someone being me of course.

So I think a good start for 2010.

The Chronicles now have received some 3700 hits and has 14 followers. Thank you all for the support. Please, even if you just come for a look, or want to "lurk", do leave a comment to introduce yourselves so I can relate to the people following the Chronicles.

So, without promising anything, I hope I can produce some pictures in the very near future.

I wish you all and all who(m?) are dear to you a prosperous New Year, with good health, love and laughter and a fullfilling year of hobbying.

Happy Gaming