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Saturday 27 May 2023


 How many times over the years have you rebased your collection - or at least parts of it. It is a right faff for sure, so I try to avoid it where I can. As I don't do competitions this is usually not a problem.

However in recent months I have come to wonder about the way certain rules and 'games' now portray the units for their given period and how the 20mm frontage for most infantry and 25mm for many cavalry has evolved, and is it the best way?.

What started this train of thought was looking at some assorted 28mm Napoleonic models of various nations all on 20mm frontage bases and also quite a few of the often called 'standard' unit(of which in reality there was no such thing) . Seen as units the troops looked too spread out with lots of daylight between each man. Don't think it was like that. Look at the modern Trooping of the Colour or even a decent re-enactment unit. They move about with very little space between each man most of the time.

Now this does not apply in certain periods of course. 17th century chaps needing more room to perform their drills- and it was not because of the baggy  breeches ! . No they mostly moved about  with some little distance between each man so my ECW dudes (or is than now W3K dudes) can stay as they are.

 No this is really about my 18th century collections 7YW and AWI really but with some Indian stuff  as well and maybe some Marlburians.

My first Marlburian unit. The rank and file are on 15mm frontage the 'Command' figures are on 20mm frontage. My reasoning here being that they should be bigger targets in the Grantian style games these will hopefully one day be used in.

 Now I have heard the argument that the larger figures won't fit on  smaller frontage bases so I thought I'd try a few experiments and - so fat I have not found any major problem with infantry. though I am keeping the depth at 20mm per model, as the depth of the figure won't allow much reduction.

Reducing the frontage per figure from 20mm to 15mm obviously reduces the frontage of the whole unit by a quarter as well as making the unit look- dare I say- a little more 'realistic' in its tabletop appearance.

This awful picture nevertheless shows the difference in frontage on even these two tiny units
 actually 2 grenadier companies from different AWI units. Both groups are from the same pack of models Old Glory AWI21. The upper group's frontage is 60mm the lower 45mm.

Another shot showing the two differing frontages side by side. I definitely prefer the closer look..

Now I won't be changing all of my troops. This will only be  chosen units for certain types of game. My 30mm Stadden and Willie AWI collection will stay on 20mm frontage(and shiny!) Shinyloo will stay as it is, as will the nascent 'Shinynine'... but if I ever get around to the Peninsular well that - and India will be a different story.

Friday 5 May 2023

The Maze of Curiosity and Fascination.

 No not some 'new and innovative',  but the same as all the others in a different box,  Sci-Fant skirmish a like, but rather another train of thought. Yes I know I'm doing thinking again and it is not fashionable in today's wargaming world but then I don't give a hoot for fashion - wel not the wargaming kind anyway.

 No this is more about where my version of the hobby takes me and why. I know that these days- assuming you believe the magazines and some of the FB pages I see that the whole hobby is 'game driven' . We are no longer supposed to talk about which historical period we play in but only about 'which games' we play.

 To me this is terribly narrow. Obviously it is one of the unforeseen side effects of the commercialisation of the hobby. For many it is easier and more convenient to be merely consumers of what is laid before them especially in the hurry up world in which we now live. It is easier to simply take a game and obey the rules rather than take an interest in the historical period in which that game may be set- however loosely.- rather than follow the more tortuous path of historical interest.

What began this particular tortuous path was the arrival of a bundle of old  Journals  of the Society for Army Historical Research bought on ebay. This bundle of rather random copies  were originally published in various years from 1948- 1985 and will be added to the collection of back issues I already have. I made space for them by binning a bundle of old wargames mags- all published after 2000 but I may be binning some more in the near future as they simply often don't contain anything that really interests me any longer. I know how to roll a dice thanks- and reviews - while being useful at the time don't have much of a shelf life. 

These Journals however, are filled with  gold. In the issues I have recently bought, I have so far, found  first hand accounts - in letters and diaries published in the Journals, from the First and Second Sikh Wars, The Napoleonic wars,, the Nepal War and the Indian Mutiny. In addition there are articles on Mercenaries in English service in 1544- and how some of them defrauded Henry VIII of lots of cash, and I have not been through more than half of them so far.

Yes in some of the articles the scholarship is a bit- or even a lot- dated but taking that into account is part of the challenge. The words of chaps who were actually there, of course, never get old and provide information  and scenario ideas that  never get into most  wargames scenario books. This kind of stuff will always be of more interest to me than wading through yet another  set of games driven fluff in a pretty book written by a bloke who values dice rolling over period knowledge. 

Well now perhaps I should put on my metaphorical Tin Hat and duck below the parapet. If I do bin some more magazine I will let you know before they go to the shredder.