Thursday, December 28, 2023

New Year Plans

I hope you had a good Christmas. If you didn't because you or your spouse (Hi Odette!) was poorly, I hope you have a better New Year.

For me, this year was dominated, hobby-wise, by the preparations to run Harpers Ferry at Steel Lard and Posh Lard. 

Having spent so much time building the terrain and researching the history, it feels like I got in less gaming than usual this year.  Looking back at the records, though, I find that I played in or ran 19 gaming sessions using six different sets of rules (The Pikeman's Lament, What A Cowboy, HOTT, TacWWII, Chain of Command, and Rogue Stars). And I'll be running Song of Blades and Heroes tomorrow so make that seven. That's actually right up there with the last few years.

Anyway, now I've been thinking about wargaming plans for 2024. I'm sure my priorities will change as the year goes on but it won't do any harm to put down some markers now.

I would like to run some more games at Lardy Days next year but I'd like a project that doesn't dominate as much as Harpers Ferry did this time around. As I've said previously, I'm tempted to go back to the Maximilian Adventure and run a participation game based on the siege of Puebla. I already have a lot of suitable figures and a combination of existing adobe buildings with some from the Woebetides I reckon I'm close to being able to field a 6'x4' urban board.

The Wali of Smut's palace may find a new role
as the penitentiary in Puebla

Speaking of the Woebetides, I put a lot of work put into the setting in preparation for Crisis Point back in September 2021. The event didn't really work as well as I would have liked because I took on too much of a burden as the sole umpire. Disappointed, I put the toys away and largely went on to other things afterwards. 

As a result I don't feel like I've properly got value-for-effort out of the Woebetides toys. I'd like to put that right and maybe run a small (possibly solo?) campaign inspired by one of my Christmas presents...

My previous approach to campaigns has been quite freeform. I've tended to avoid detailing too much in advance and instead allowed events to develop organically. The Woebetides might be a good place to try out Henry's more prescriptive approach and specify the populations and military forces of the islands in frankly excessive detail!  

Finally on the Sharp Practice front, Richard Phillips and I have been threatening to explore Marshal Macdonald's advance to Riga during the summer and autumn of 1812. Family matters have kept getting in the way this year but I'm hopeful we can get something going in 2024.

Away from the horse and musket era, I am keen to play some more TacWWII this year. At the moment the plan is to hold a Crisis Point event in Dungworth this spring. If it goes ahead I intend that one of the games on offer be my Prague Summer 1948 - The Race to Stary Boleslav.

I say "if it goes ahead" as initial response to the idea of another Crisis Point was a little muted. Early in the New Year I plan to raise the proposal once more and find out whether there's sufficient enthusiasm to justify going ahead. If there isn't I may switch to just running my own game at some point during the year, probably at the village hall instead. Either way I'll need to get in some practice games to make sure I have the rules down and to test some of the house rules I've included in my version 1.5.

That aside there's a good chance I'll get Chain of Command to the table at some point; old mate Stuart and new acquaintance Matt have asked to have a session to help them learn the rules. I'd also like to have some more games of Rogue Stars and Shot, Steel and Stone before too long.

Doubtless other things will come up during the year and who knows, maybe some or all of the above will still be on the To Do List in December 2024?

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Adobe Dobe Doo

The new cluster of adobe buildings for Pavis is now complete. 

In the end I didn't go over the top with the fantasy elements; just the little statue (probably containing the family's guardian spirit) over one of the doorways.

After photographing the piece I realised I'd neglected to add any roof hatches. I'll probably put some on later along with a little burnt-grass flock.

One of my thoughts about next year is to run some more Maximilian Adventure Sharp Practice. Focussing on the 1863 siege of Puebla would make use of existing models - both 28mm soldiers and suitable buildings.

The completed building below was a quick project earlier this year to fit a suitable storage box that came my way. Now I'm working on a destroyed version.

The 1863 Siege of Puebla has long interested me. During the Crimean War the French had taken Sevastopol as soon as they captured the Malakoff fortress. They assumed the convent of San Javier was likewise the key to Puebla. They were wrong and the subsequent fight for the city itself threatened to become a nineteenth century Stalingrad.

I wonder if I can create a game for the coming year's Lardy Days that sees the French attacking from block to block while the Mexicans scurry from rooftop to fortified rooftop via improvised bridges?

Some degree of mashing up Sharp Practice and Chain of Command may be called for, as will a lot of play-testing.

Friday, December 8, 2023

On the workbench

I was putting in a Victrix order while they had their Black Friday sale running and was just short of the total needed to to get free shipping so I added in a pack of Gallic cavalry. I figure I may one day use them to play Infamy Infamy.

Feeling the urge to paint something just for the hell of it I made a start. Adding in a couple of existing Warlord Gauls I'm not far off a six-man unit with Leader.

There are only three horse sculpts - it doesn't look line the halves are interchangeable to give more variety in poses. I'm therefore working on using Green Stuff to vary the harness decoration. I'll share comparison pics when they're done.

Meanwhile I continue to persevere with the 3D printer despite problems with build plate adhesion. Successfully printed was this medieval tower. Yet another addition to the Eastern European 6mm urban terrain.

An earlier version of the print failed part way through so I'm working on a ruined version using quick-drying Polyfilla, grit, and slices of wooden coffee stirrer.

I've used a 6cm base, which I'll paint to resemble a paved square. 6cm happens to be twice my standard road width.

Finally, one of my planned Christmas games is another Song of Blades and Heroes skirmish set in Pavis. I wanted to reflect the fact that Pavis isn't depicted as all right angles so I've knocked up this cluster of buildings.

Very much made up as I went along, this one. The long balcony has been in my terrain bits box for years and the length of that side of the building was determined by the desire to use it. 

I even broke my usual rule of designing the building to fit an existing storage box but fortunately a new pair of walking boots provided exactly the size box I needed.

I generally make adobe buildings generic enough to pass for Pavis or Mexico but this time I'm thinking of going all-out fantasy with a statue in a niche above one of the doors and maybe painted runes on one of the walls.

Well that's it for now. I'll share finished pics when done.