Monday, 14 September 2015

Filling Up The Time, Filling Up The Corners

A rather frustrating time at the moment as far as actual wargaming goes, with the wargames room (i.e. the dining room) full of furniture and boxes as we prepare to move house. This made a couple of recent visits to wargame shows particularly welcome. I journeyed to The Other Partizan at Newark last weekend, and this weekend it was the turn of Colours 2015. 

Both excellent shows, I thought. As for the venues, Kelham Hall in Newark is gloomy but glorious, whilst Newbury Racecourse is almost the opposite - a modern if bland grandstand with excellent light and space for showing off our hobby. The only slight disappointment at both shows was with the number and quality of the demonstration games, particularly at Colours. Indeed, at the latter there were some bare patches in the floor space which definitely needed filling. Where space is at a premium, as with Kelham Hall, perhaps it's time to foreground the hobby itself and cut down the number of traders? But then, I am at the stage of not needing or wanting much stuff these days; a situation apparently not shared by most of my fellow wargamers.

The main hall at The Other Partizan.
Colours 2015 - the redoubtable Craig Thompson (check shirt) gathers a crowd for his lovely Skirmish Sangin game.
A lot of scratch modelling in evidence, and he also created those stats cards himself.

Although I didn't go to either show with any kind of shopping list, I did of course come away with some stuff. Star buys were two books and a trio of Zvezda Panzer 38(t)s. The latter were pure impulse buys - but at £3 each, what's not to like? The books were Charles Grant's Wargaming in History Vol.4, and the 1798 translation of Warnery's Remarks on Cavalry. The last was a cracking and unexpected find for £15 - at last it's mine!

A further purchase, typical for a wargamer with no real needs but with money burning a hole in his pocket, was a set of 4 cows in 28mm, destined to decorate some corner of a foreign field during the Seven Year's War. Shouldn't bulk out the lead hill too much, I think.

In true Zvezda fashion, the tanks took about half an hour to build.
Here they pose unpainted in front of some Ironclad Miniatures 15mm buildings.

SYW - Dismounted Cavalry
In my SYW games, I find the occasions when cavalry wish to dismount are rare. Usually this occurs when they wish occupy a town or village. In the past, I've made do with spare light infantry figures, but recently I purchased (already painted) some of the dismounted figures available from RSM Miniatures. The range is limited, and I settled for just 8 figures each of dragoons and hussars. These will have to do service as generic dismounted figures as I really can't justify a full set for their very occasional use. I will deploy them as shown with a mounted command base accompanying them representing horse holders and providing a bit of colour.

Austrian Dragoons
Prussian 'Yellow' Hussars

It has to be admitted that the RSMs can't really hold a candle to the dismounted figures available from Fife and Drum Miniatures (in their Minden Miniatures range). They don't have the animation and the range of poses. But these RSM figures are very rarely seen examples from a range which itself is both underexposed and under-rated. I wanted to own them and show them off.

Honours of War
Most of my hobby time at the moment is focussing on preparing a website to support these rules when they come out. This will be a personal website, not an official Osprey one. The pre-release copies of the book have apparently arrived and I eagerly await one. The 'publicity machine' is now beginning to roll, with an invitation from Wargames Illustrated to write a 'designer's notes' article. This should be fun. I am really fortunate to have my first foray into published rules backed by a well known publisher with a high profile, and people who actually do 'publicity'. 

A few interesting months ahead - getting into the new house and setting up wargaming operations in new rooms, and seeing the rules come out. All I need now is to start getting some games in!