Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy

Monday, August 29, 2016

Practicing what you preach. Part One

I have written a number of articles for Tabletop Commanders regarding playing battles on small tables. Indeed I demonstrated the possibility right down to a twenty one inch by sixteen inch portable table. Albeit, it was 6 mm figures on the table. On last nights paint and chat, which I dropped out of due to internet problems, my good buddy Kurtus had suggested I write a couple of articles about the move to a smaller place and the impact it will have on my hobby.

Well, it so happens that my wife and I are moving to a much smaller place next month, gone is my games room and the eight feet by four feet table I currently enjoy. I shall have to make do, on a temporary basis, with a much smaller table. I say temporary as it will also be where we eat our meals. No more the luxury of leaving battles set up for days on end.

I am currently playing a number of games on the kitchen table at my current residence, in preparation for the move, though I believe this table is actually larger than what I will have available after the move, but I will just have to adapt to the new circumstances.

The kitchen table is just 5 x 3 feet, a bit of a squeeze for 28 mm figures and terrain.

On the table above are two Lion Rampant forces, as you can see they already fill up half of the available space. Granted the battle is between two ten unit forces, so is a little on the large size. However, with such rules as Impetus, L'Art etc. in mind, all is not lost.

Here is one of the Lion Rampant retinues laid out on the table, the frontage takes up two thirds of the table length, also some units are twelve figures strong so require two of my movement trays. If I use cm's as opposed to inches for movement, firing etc. it will work fine.

The same retinue with the twelve man units stripped down to sixes, still looks good, not quite as impressive but adequate. You will notice that it is also just about the correct number of stands for Impetus, L'Art etc.

Here are the nine trays I stripped from the retinue, an army in their own right. So it is possible, with just a little adjustment, to still fight with 28 mm on a much smaller table. I have already experimented with my ECW troops, and that was a success too, by simply reducing the number of trays. Of course a tray of three galloping cavalry troopers to represent a regiment looks a little paltry against the twelve normally present, but it is a case of adapting to circumstances. In my opinion it would look better than a cardboard counter!

The move will take place in just under a fortnight, once in and settled, I should then be able to write part two of this article, so stay tuned.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Chats, Challenges and Cupboard Clearing.

At the beginning of this year I made a resolution, don't we all? For my part is was to paint all the miniatures in my stash, and not to buy any new shiny things until they were all done.

Well I have been partly successful so far, and we are two thirds the way through August. So what have I achieved so far in clearing out the cupboard stash? The Wars of the Roses project has been completed with over 600 miniatures built and painted. They were done over a few months, helped greatly by regularly joining the Tabletop Commanders Paint & Chats.

Held regularly on Fridays and Sundays, with spontaneous sessions often held too. They really inspire me to work on whatever miniatures I have on the painting board at the time, with good conversation and humour thrown in for a good mix. A pleasant way to while away a few hours, whilst painting away. The painting side of our hobby is pretty much a solitary affair, we sit at our table, maybe a movie, music or a YT video on in the background, and we beaver away alone. Not so now, by the power of Google+ Hangouts, I can now paint and chat along with other like minded souls, who have become good friends.

To add an extra bit of motivation we sometimes throw in a challenge, this coming Winter we are looking to initiate a three month long challenge. It doesn't have a name as yet, but it is intended that it runs from October through to Christmas Day. A great opportunity to empty that cupboard! Yes that one in the corner you have been avoiding. It contains the minis you bought in the dim and distant past, never to see the light of day again. Well for three months, you can make a point of dusting them off and getting some paint on them. That guilty feeling will be lifted forever.

I myself will be painting up my 'Liberty or Death' box set, the one time this year I weakened and bought something new and shiny. I was intending to purchase the set this Christmas, but the opportunity arose to purchase a set for a substantially lower price. Apart from half a dozen test figures, the box remains closed until all my other projects are complete.

I am have now come to the end of my Arab army project. A total of 169 figures, all plastic Gripping Beast apart from the leader figure, a metal mounted Saladin to lead them in battle. So another stash can be ticked off the list. I am now working on Gripping Beast Anglo-Danes and Vikings, both metal and plastic sets. I also have a Revell kit of a Viking long ship, to make into a small diorama for Saga.

The last minis lurking in my stash cupboard are one regiment of horse and three of foot, for my English Civil War armies. Those armies are already quite large, and those final units will finally finish the project. I have about six weeks to try and complete the above, before commencing the Winter Challenge.


Since I penned the above article, we have sealed a deal on a new home, we are downsizing, so initially some of my armies will have to go into storage. I do however intend to take enough of my 6mm ACW to fight the Shenandoah Valley Campaign, the Vikings and Anglo-Danes to play some Saga and finally the Liberty or Death box set will be my Winter painting project.