Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Classic Wargamer's Journal Volume I, Issue 1

Strangely enough, I haven't seen much feedback on the first issue of the CWJ. Myself, I'm still taking it all in. So I guess a lot of you are doing just the same as me: enjoying the moment of discovery. But in support of Phil Olley and the CWJ, I decided to do this small post in the Chronicles anyway.

I enjoyed reading Phil's editorial as he wrote another fine example of his "philolleysophy" (sorry Phil, couldn't help myself, I just love that word) under the "Soapbox Time" heading.
I think it's a strong first issue, clearly marking the way ahead for the journal and I'm convinced it will inspire a lot of wargamers -classic, old school, new school, whatever- to refresh their view on the hobby and go on with a new found "élan". I know it did so with me, as I spent yesterday evening painting Minden castings.

Through the CWJ, I even rediscovered Greg Horne's Duchy of Alzheim, which I had -for some inexcusable reason- lost track of. I've put a link in the "Inspiration" section on the left. Note that the Old School ACW blog already listed there, also is Greg's brainchild.

The CWJ is 100% pure wargaming fun, undiluted by merchandising. On second thought, I won't review the contents. Instead I invite you all to at least try an issue. There are two of them now: a pilot issue and the first "real" issue. Even if you don't like it, never mind, you've probably will have spent a couple of pounds or Euros on worst things than the CWJ.

There is one drawback though: I don't think I'll have the patience to wait until January for the next issue to drop in the letterbox. And I don't think issue one will last that long, unless I ration myself to reading  two pages a week...now that's a silly and bad idea.

Tonight I'm playing an ancient wargame, using the Command and Colours game system. I'm looking forward to that.

Happy gaming

Monday, 11 October 2010

Links, rivers, roads and trees

Introducing a few more links and some more ideas and finds.

First of all I spent my hobby allowance for the next umpteen years ordering miniatures from the RSM95 (the old Rusty Sabre Miniatures) range. Following C.S. Grants thoughts for a balanced force for horse and musket armies as laid out in his "The Wargame Companion", I'm aiming to build two armies each initially comprising 8 units of line infantry, 1 unit of light infantry, 3 units of medium/heavy cavalry, 1 unit of light cavalry and one battery of artillery.

Remember the inhereted SSM plastics and my E-Bay buy? These will be roughly devided in two to form the first part of both armies. Work has already started restoring the Grenadiers the France. My initial buy of Minden miniatures will be in due course expanded to more Old School/Classic proportions, giving me another three regiments of infantry. RSM95  miniatures will give me another 7 units, leaving the rest to be filled out with Minden. This will give me two armies approximately consisting of 40% SSM, 40% Minden and 20% RSM95. Reconfiguring these armies for rules such as Black Powder, Minden Rose or Rank and File -remember the careful planned basing?- would give me the double number of units.
Of course this will be documented in full -maybe even reconfiguring this blog- as the adventures of the DDU and its armies start happening.

Now, Tony, over at the Prometheus in Aspic blog has shown me the way ahead for my later Napoleonic projects. Although I'm not using hex based rules, nor his army organisation, his miniature painting and basing style are what I'm going for. You can follow -for some time now- his latest posts in the "inspiration" section on the left. I'm a big fan of his writings and sage advice that he gives as "Foy's Laws", which he comments and explains in no uncertain language, which I like very much...sometimes agreeing to disagree...great stuff.
The advantage of all this will be that all classic/old school terrain I build for my imagineering will serve at least two periods. Maybe the DDU will fight under Napoleon, or as part of some coalition against him...who knows?

Which brings me to terrain and I'm not talking about my garden. In the "how to" section I included a link to a recent post at the Too Much Lead blog, because that seems to me the ideal way to make rivers and roads for a classic looking battlefield. The TML blog is already listed in the "inspiration" section of these here Chronicles.
So, that's green paint, rivers and roads sorted out...now, what about trees? Easy that one, Stokes in his Grand Duchy of Stollen blog suggested using plastic trees from a company making cake decorations of all things. I ordered item 2140 from the novelty items section of the Sugarcraft company.

They also do plastic evergreen/spruce trees and they even have a 1 1/4"-non marching- marching band (item S71)...lovely stuff indeed. You can also find bridges, fences and there's even an "army" section. Well if it's good enough for decorating cakes, it's good enough for my wargames table (after eating the cake of course).

And last, but not least, a couple of members of my local games club "De witte ridder" had thrown together all their old 1/72 plastic soldiers in one big box. The plan is to base a number of units and introduce those interested to Napoleonic gaming using the Black Powder rule set. Nothing fancy, just plain unpainted armies as used by my brother in wargame arms Ludo and myself a couple of posts ago, good fun, hopefully lots units on big tables and we'll see how it goes from there.

Well, that about sums up what I wanted to get of my chest. TTFN...

Happy gaming