Monday, 5 May 2008

Project Housekeeping

Like most wargamers I have quite a few projects in progress at any one time and which progresses depends on my mood and what inspires me at the time. I've found that for any project to make it to the table I need to satisfy three basic elements - figures, terrain and rules. Without all three most projects will end up in some part finished limbo whilst I search (sometimes in vain) for the missing element.

Figures are often a starting point for my projects. I see some really nicely sculpted figures and they often inspire me to get into a new period. As you can see from my Salute purchases the work of Paul Hicks is currently being pretty influential in my choices. Lets face it the Irish War of Independence isn't exactly a popular choice!

Terrain seldom forms the basis for a new project but it is essential to it's début on the table. I've always liked my games to be visually appealing and skirmish games demand key terrain as either objectives or simply to block line of sight.

Rules are often a stumbling block as without them it doesn't matter how good the figures and terrain looks the game either simply won't work or won't "feel" right. Fortunately my latest projects are mainly early 20th Century skirmish outings and so the Two Hour Wargames CR2.0/Nuts! system is ideal. For larger games, particularly for earlier periods, I have found you need to have a bespoke rule set to get the proper feel for any period. And just to reiterate the dawn of time to 1485 is NOT a single period!

So what have I got on the go at the moment, in no particular order (does that say something?):

(1) Early WW1: My Renegade purchases (British and Germans) are off to be painted and I'm now planning to expand into French (well, who can resist les pantalons rouge?). My usual practice is to try to make sure at least some of the figures are usable in some other games and so it is with the Brits and Germans who will, with the addition of some German rocket troops, form the basis of some VSF (or ESF to me more precise!). As to terrain, I'm hoping that by avoiding the trenches I can utilise some of the existing terrain pieces I have for this one.

(2) Winter War: Having picked up some Baker Company figures from eBay, I have now added Bolt Action and Brigade figures to bring the numbers up to something usable. Obviously the BAM and Brigade ones still need painting and the basing will need to be aligned. I also have a T26 (Anglian) and Gaz truck (Force of Arms) to build (and I suspect will need to get some more of them too). What I am looking for at the moment are appropriate buildings and a suitable source for more trees! As I've previously mentioned I initially plan to pitch my Finns against Lenin's RCW troops until such time as I can organise some BAM early war Russians. The big advantage with this one is that the Finns can be used right through the Continuation War into the Lapland War.

(3) Irish War of Independence: Inspired by the Musketeer figures I've started assembling some background material (I wanted to know more about it anyway and the figures were simply a kick start). Terrain isn't so much of an issue (unless I want some rural Irish dwellings which are a little problematic) but I'd really like an armoured car for interest and suspect I'll be going with the Sloppy Jalopy Austin one as Copplestone has worn out his moulds for the Rolls Royce A/C he used to make. I'm hoping that my early WW1 Brits will be usable if I want to do an element of the 1916 rising and, stretching it a bit, Free State army for the Civil War.

(4) Early WW2: I do have a decent amount of Brits and Germans in 15mm which I use with the Lardies' IABSM rules but I'd really like to move into 28mm too. Conciously trying to avoid just duplicating the existing theatre I am currently contemplating Poland. BAM have started a nice little range of figures and vehicles which would be useful to explore the beginnings of the Blitzkrieg. The Poles could also face up to my early war Russians (when I get them) as they were sandwiched between Hitler and Stalin at the time (not an enviable position!).

The 15mm forces also need finishing as I have still to base some and add the armour (only some of which I have painted) to enable me to use them for the early fighting in France and then for Sealion (something I have a great deal of interest in - irrespective of how unlikely any invasion was in reality).

(5) Maximilian in Mexico: I've had a set of Freikorp (now LKM) 15mm figures, that I picked up from a chap a the club some time ago, languishing in a box for a while now. The big stumbling block for this one is rules (apart from actually getting them painted, of course) and I'm still searching around for an appropriate set. I've tried a variant of Fire and Fury but it still felt like Fire & Fury to me (which is indelibly linked to ACW in my mind I'm afraid). So the quest goes on.

(6) Tudor Ireland: This is an offshoot of my Border Reiver project inspired by the Vendel figures. They're painted but need the basing finishing. Again the key element missing is rules. I want something that really reflects the core differences between the forces and am still looking at the moment although I do have a home brew set in mind as well.

(7) Montrose: I have had these Redoubt figures sat in a box for several years now as a result of not having a set of rules I was happy with. I'm planning to get these out again in the near future and start the search afresh.

(8) Sudan: Another 15mm project which is partially based. I really need some inspiration to get me restarted on this one. I'd really like to use Science vs Pluck but may have to fall back on Battles for Empire in order to get these to the table.

(9) Gothic Horror: With the figures now based and Rippers selected as the rules I just need to build Whitechapel in order to get these ones to the table.

(10) Spanish Civil War: Having got some of the excellent Anglian Miniatures figures at Salute these are now off for painting. I'm currently looking at terrain options but have a couple of suitable buildings already from my Peninsular War skirmishes. I've just started reading Antony Beevor's book to get me going.

(11) Greek Myth: With a mixture of Foundry and Eureka figures I have the bases covered here (when they're painted) and with Typhon as the rule set I just need to get reinvigorated to get this one going again.

(12) Vietnam: Bizarrely I have both the rules (Two Hour Wargames' FNG) and the terrain sorted (including some Corgi die cast vehicles) but, as yet, no figures!

I think that's enough to be going on with!

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