Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Whats it all about Markie?

Over the last few days I've found myself contemplating life, the Universe and Wargaming. Steady on Man!

Now I started 2012 with the plan of sticking mainly to 28mm WW2, with a few minor distractions, but NO new projects. FAIL! So I got to thinking and decided it was time I revised my approach to the hobby.

How to make it work without getting, distracted, bored, sidetracked, hoodwinked into a new project etc., etc.? So how does it work for me.

1. I don't like painting large numbers of the same figure. (Napoleonic's are a no no). I get bored.

2. I don't like painting large numbers of figures at the same time. I prefer to paint  a single figure so I can lavish attention to it if 28mm, or upto about 4 or 5 figures at a time if 15mm. Otherwise I get bored.

3. I don't like continually painting the same period for a long time. Or I get bored.

Are you getting the drift?

So what can I do about it? How can I keep the momentum and interest going so projects are completed and I can actually play games?

Well lets look at what is 'floating my boat' at the moment. What projects am I doing or started which I WANT to continue with.

WW2 Western Desert   

A newie but a goodie.

I like painting 15mm WW2 figures and models. Back in the day when I played alot of WRG Ancients the chosen scale was 15mm. I hated painting them little buggers! Yet for some reason I enjoy painting the WW2 infantry in this scale.  More importantly, and  a new direction, for me is the constrained time period of the theatre of operations, February to June 1941. Again a throw back to the WRG days I would pick armies which could fight a wide range of opponents, say for example Celts, good for 400BC to about 100AD. I have continually applied this reasoning throughout alot of my Wargaming since. So for WW2, a German Panzer force using Panthers for example could be used from 1943 to the end of the war. For the first time I'm concentrating on a much smaller period of time, and enjoying building a unit/time specific army to use in a specific theatre.

Of course I also want to build up the Afrikakorp units to use them both in Battalion size games using Rapid Fire and IABSM for company level actions.

WW2 Normandy

Based around the 101st Airborne vs 6th Fallschirmjager Regiment. This little project started not so much because of the Band of Brothers TV mini-series but because of this article on Matakishi 's Teahouse inspired by the TV mini-series- building carentan. I recall following these weekly updates, and since I was looking for a new project at the time, I suddenly found myself purchasing WW2 figures in 28mm, the article was that inspiring. So where am I now with it? Well lets see, I have a platoons worth of US Airborne, a weak platoon of Fallschirmjager and various pieces of terrain (some scratch built to my credit).  I certainly have enough to play my intended rule set.

So why haven't I? Because I've been dilly-dallying around!

So applying my new theory above, just stick to the plan man! In other words rather than getting sidetracked with considering building tanks, planes and automobiles, adding in British, Canadians etc., just stick with the initial time period from 6th June to say 13th June 1944. This would include D-Day (duh obvious!), the fighting in Carentan up to the Battle of Bloody Gulch (Episode 2-Carentan; When Easy Company is attacked by 6th Fallschirmjager Regt. and 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division). Here's one link of many which will make it all clearer-Utah Beach to Cherbourg.

So keep it focused. Why am I considering building Monte Cassino when all my other terrain is based around the Normandy country side?

Legends of The Old West

First time I played this game, came away thinking that was a load of old crap! Then the Secret Wargamers Friend (Gawd bless 'im), put on an excellent scenario driven game, with great terrain, great figures and a great cup of tea thown in (I think there may have even been biscuits).

Now I love it (don't want to marry it though!). The Warhammer system works a treat as far as I am concerned. The rules have enough 'tongue in cheek' balanced out against playability to make a great fun game.

So what did I do once I saw the light? Well I went and bought some Apache from Foundry (they were on offer I must add). So I have painted up enough for a Warparty/posse and then stopped. So I need to get back into painting the Wild West again. I want my own Wild West Town, yes I do. So the Old West is in.

Why Apache I hear you ask? Well no one else at the club seemed to have any Native Americans at the time, so I decided to fill the void. Plus I have always had an interest in Native American history/culture. By choosing Apache I get to add in this bad boy!

Its Geronimo by the way.

French and Indian War

This is one project that I really need to kick start. I've probably had an interest in the French & Indian War (or The Seven Years War in America), for longer than I have actually realised. When I actually think about it I've watched films, documentaries, read articles and books on the subject, but never gamed the period. Though I do recall at the old Birmingham Wargames Show (the one that was at the Birmingham Uni.. Can't actually recall the shows exact title), looking at some of the Ral Partha figures for this period and very nearly making a purchase.

Unashamedly I must admit it was probably Michael Mann's 1992 film version which really caught my attention and made the decision for me to game this conflict. (That means its taken about 18 years, before I purchased any relevant figures).

But it is Wes Studi's portrayal of Magua which makes the whole film in IMO.

It is only very recently that I finally did make a few purchases from the excellent Conquest Miniatures range. What happened? I stopped painting them. Now with the recent release of this rule set;

I've decided I really must pull my finger out and start painting. These rules are by the same guy who brought us SAGA. Which despite my fondness for Dark Age wargaming those rules seem to have  passed me by. But having read a few reviews for the FIW set, I've treated myself to a copy and hopefully they will be here soon.
I mean whats not to like about the FIW, British and French regulars, with irregulars and Native Americans on both sides. I only intend to play skirmish games at the moment, and these rules apparently can be played on a 4'x4' board.Bonus!

So what does all this mean. well I'm giving myself licence to chop and chop periods and paint what I feel like, depending on my mood. More structure, more results. Thats the theory. So lets see how I get one for the rest of the year.
I'm liking this idea of micro-periods. For the Late War 15mm I'm already considering The Battle Of The Bulge. Never modelled ice or snow and with lots of products now available to do so, could be fun painting up Germans and Americans, just for the attack through the Ardennes. Lots of trees though!

Where does it leave the Zulu War, Lord of the Rings (yes I have LotR's figures), late war 15mm WW2, Dark Age/Medieval et al. On the shelf at the moment. Though with the imminent release of the TOOFATlardies Arthurian rules more here toofatlardies-blog & here roundwood world, and Daniel Mersey about to release his new rules for Osprey (though I think they may be an updated version of his Glutter of Ravens set) for the same period Dux Bellorum, I may find myself being drawn back into the Dark Ages. The Uruk-hai are itching to get back into the fight also.

'Grrrr' Find the Halflings'Grrr'.


  1. Mark, I have pretty much finished the first lot of my 15mm WW2 Americans, an infantry company with Shermans and M10 T/Ds for support. I have been interested in Muskets + Tomahawks too but has resisted so far, loads of SAGA going on at Bishampton. Be great to see soon Mate although appreciate work might be busy.

  2. Hi Paul

    Unfortunately at the moment I'm seem to be working on club days or if not then on the odd weekend off, committed with family. I haven't forgotten the club just struggling to get there. I'd like to give SAGA a bash, it seems to have attracted quite a following.