Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Chance Cards Part One

I thought that I would share one of my many projects that I have lined up to do at one point in my life with you now.  Being a solo player and having a nice set of rules to play with is all very well but when you do not have an opponent to play against, they can be very long winded in playing a game against yourself, not only that, you are in total control of commanding both armies on the table. To me although this is better than nothing, it will only be moral rules that will take away any control that you have over the two armies. So to get around this I have come up with the CHANCE CARD. 

I started this project back in 2008 after I found the idea on another war gaming blog, a club that was adding these cards to their games and I thought to myself that they could help me. I gave it a lot of thought and how I could incorporate these into my games.

The answer that I came up with is that I would have to draw a card when a unit is attacked in any way and that unit would have to act on what the card said. So I hope that the only rules that I need are for moving, shooting and hand-to-hand combat. 

I made the decision that the cards should be a credit card size which is easy to handle even with kids taking part in the game. The spec was that they are to be made in full colour front and back. So with a rough I made I now had to design my own cards.

With an aide of a computer I made the template of the front and back of the card. On the front of the card I inserted a coloured picture of the Battle of Waterloo map and on the reverse side was to be the text. This was my first draft and I later changed that to another picture on the back of the card with the old guard at Waterloo but lightened it so the text, being in bold black, would stand out from the picture.

So what was the instruction or chance that was to be made on these cards? Well again some of the instructions came from the war gaming blog but most were changed to help the game roll along, I hope!

I intend to make thirteen different cards with some of the instructions would be more than others. The right balance has to be made, but I will not know that until I start playing with the cards. There are for LUCKY and UNLUCKY, STEADY, HALT, RETREAT, AMMUNITION, RESUPPLY, OFFICERS KILLED, NO TARGET, TEST FOR MORAL, EAGER, ADVANCE and NO RESTRICTIONS.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Prussian Foot Artillery

At last I have taken a couple of pictures of the Prussian foot artillery that I finished off painting last year. Sorry to say that the pictures are a bit dull as they were taken on a very dull day, but you can get the general idea of how they look.

At the top is a picture of the Officer and drummer from the HaT Prussian Infantry Command set 8255. As you can see the officer’s right arm is the peg arm and although it’s a good idea from HaT to do this, so you can have a choice of positions with the sword, but putting the arm on the figure had its problems and so I had to cut the peg off when joining them together. But the overall effect makes him look like his arm is out of joint. Still this method should get better as they go along with the sets. The backpack was easy to attach to the figure and they painted up really good.

The drummer was the easiest to put together with is backpack and drum. I think these will look really good on the battle field as the Prussian Artillery set does not have a commander or drummer included in their sets. Both of these figures are made from the new soft plastic.

At the foot of the page, is a picture of some of the artillery crew with most of the elements in place. I have given the unit all four 6lb cannons. This is HaT’s Artillery set 8007 and they are made from the old hard plastic as it was one of the first sets made by HaT. The only problem with these is that their coat-tails are missing, so they went without rather than trying to paint them on. As my Prussian army grows, I think I will need another set of these in the future.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Pack Animals?

I thought that I would bring this subject to my blog because when you look at peoples blogs, either doing wargame shows or posting pictures of their current wargame, you don’t see any with pack horses being brought up to the front carrying spare ammo/food or bringing the wounded back from the field of battle or seeing them in marching columns moving across that well displayed gaming table.
Now I know that there are not many plastic companies out there that have these in their 20mm sets, but are these really worth putting into armies if you don’t use them? I think they are.

When I was running my wargame club back in the 80’s one of the members brought up his Airfix 01752 German Mountain troops and inside the box there were four pack horses in a walking pose. At the time he was going to start painting these but he had no intension of painting the four pack hoses. So I asked if I could have them and without any hesitation he said yes.

These were left in my too do box for a while as I then thought, well what am I going to do with them? Well we played a lot of little battles at the club and while we were going to playing a Zulu game, where the Zulus had to chase a column of British back to their camp. This is where they came into play. The Zulu’s had to capture these as they were carrying rifles for the British army. So I quickly painted these up (left of the picture) and made ready for the game in the following week. It was a frantic game as the British tried to get the rifles back to camp but failed to get them all back as the Zulu’s made off with two of them.
These four pack horses have all so played their part in the clubs Napoleonic campaign that we ran and it just adds that little bit of reality to the battle being played.

It was not until HaT started to bring out their plastic sets that I found some more pack horses. In their Prussian Foot Artillery 8007, there are again four of these in a box. As you know I have just finished painting this set up and have painted the four up on the right of the picture. Again they are horses walking and very smart they look too.
But look at the difference between the two sets. The Airfix horses are really small compared to the HaT set. So I started to look around with the other plastic companies to see if there are any more in their boxes.

The only ones I can find at the moment are the old ESCI 211 Italian Mountain Troops which have two mules but they are in a bucking pose, which really are not all that good looking. The Revell/Matchbox 02529 Anzac Infantry they only have the one and again, it’s a mule walking and again is not a bad figure to have. Waterloo 1815 have just released a new set of the WWII US Mountain Troops. These have three mules in the set and they look very good in a walking pose. I know that some of the plastic companies are going to include some more for future sets for this year. I am glad to have these in my army and I hope to add to them in the future. The good thing about these pack horses is that when they are painted up, you can use these for any period in history, so why not go and find some to paint up for your army and give it that different look about it?