Sunday, February 28, 2010

My wargames weekend

My weekend has actually passed with a rarity for me, when a friend of mine bought a copy of Memoir '44 and (despairing of his girlfriend) asked me to join him for a few games. I went round for a "boys' night in" featuring pizza, beer plus about 7 or 8 games of Memoir '44. Excellent fun, and so much so that we have agreed to do it again! I had not played Memoir '44 before, and had low expectations of what it would be like. Certainly t was not what you would call 'historically realistic' in the detailed sense, but the game was a great deal of fun and gave a great flavour of things - I finally 'got' the game, after a year or two of thinking it sounded bad. What a turnaround! I may even be tempted to try it myself for different periods, so I shall be following the blog 'A Wargaming Odyssey' closely, as he has recently decided to try a Vietnam version of it (sadly I must wait as it's only one project among his many, just like any self-respecting wargamer!)

Back home in my own GHQ bunker, I've been doing a great deal of the 'donkey work' for my WOTR armies. I have worked my way through half of the boxes, clipping, glueing, and assembling eighty figures. I then glues eighty 1p coins to their bases, sat them all in a cardboard box in the loft (no small achievement in the freezing snow-bound cold) and spray-painted them a base-coat of black. I even took advantage of a trip to Ikea to get some storage boxes on the cheap.

I have now only just started out on the tricksy task of painting retinue colours on them, and my research largely consists of looking up other peoples' models on the internet plus a bit of Wikipedia. Here are my first set of liveried Retinue men, in a fetching blue and white. This should apparently make them lancastrians as these were (again apparently) the colours for Henry VI and/or the Duke of Somerset.

It's base-coat only, and I intend to dip them to get the finished result much improved. I'll paint up a lot more before I do that, however. For now though it's 12 down, 148 to go!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wars of the Roses in 28mm

It's a red-letter day! A brand-new project has been started, and I thought I should blog it from the very earliest stages. First came the growing Medieval interest, with my 6mm armies, which was meant to be all about the Hundred Years' War. Then, I noticed my attention was slanting towards the end of the period, and the Wars of the Roses (WotR.) Next, came the Perry Miniatures' box of plastic 28mm figures, which looked marvellous - but I stayed strong, and held off(or went into denial, depending on your take.)

Next, there was The Perfect Captain, who brought out a Campaign game calles 'A Crown of Paper' and then followed it up with a tabletop battle set of rules called 'A Coat of Steel.' This set actually looked increasingly interesting as I read through it, and seemed much more suitable to do in 28mm.

Final straw - Warlord Games did a special offer for a 'Retinue Set' of four Perry Miniatures boxes bundled together, plus free P&P. So, I caved in at long last. They arrived last night, and here's a few snapshots to commemorate the starting project 'acorn' I hope will grow up nice and large - mind you, with 160 figures to keep me busy, I think I can relax on that score!

This fellow shows my planned basing system - figures individually glued to a penny! They are nearly/exactly 20mm in diameter, add a pleasing weight to stabilise the base, plus I can combine them as I wish on a movement tray 'base' of 40mm by 40mm.

A lord with his mini-retinue! By the scaling system of ACOS, this is a relatively minor noble with a group of 240 retainers (or potentially figures enough for 600 levies from Commissions of Array - scales and figures per base vary according to type.)

The working tabletop - assembling takes longer than I expected, but is actually also more enjoyable than I expected too!

The Retinue boxed set from Warlord Games - works out in total to about 34p a figure! Now there's just the minor matter of painting them...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Coat of Steel

Not really a full post here, but a public service-style notice to any people with an interest in the Wars of the Roses. The Free resource site 'The Perfect Captain' has released a free set of battle rules for Wars of the Roses combats, as part of it's WOTR Campaign game. I'm currently having a look at them, and they seem very interesting - full of period-detail and colour. They're certainly a bit different from the normal run of things, but they've got my interest and I thought I should direct others to them. After all - when they're free, how wrong can you go?