Monday, 7 March 2011

Lead Wars: A New Beginning

Following on from yesterday's post, it strikes me that I have too many rules sets that I want to try. Obviously, given my circumstances and my general levels of impatience, painting armies for all of these rules is out of the question, so I need to focus. It strikes me that focusing on a small number of rules sets might be a solution. However, rather than doing that, it seems that focusing on the figures used might provide a more satsifactory solution. So, I reckon that if I pick a figure set, a scale and a basing system then I can match the rules to suit. I shall allow myself half a dozen choices and see where it goes. My usual opponent, Steve, could do the same and that would give us monthly target once more. As I wrote yesterday, the Towton project is almost complete, but will still dominate our painting and terrain building until mid-April. It may also require additional input after that if we decide/are persuaded to expand the size of it for the Derby show in October. Anyway, here goes with my picks. As you will see in the list below, I like flexibility and variety.

1. 6mm Wars of the Roses on 60mm x 30mm bases
Rules: Poleaxed 2, Impetus, Warrior Heroes, Rally Round the King.
These are the figures for the Towton project. Their functionality covers all of the above rules sets, although it seems unlikely that we shall use them much for the latter two rules because those are a feature of our Talomir Tales campaign which uses 40mm x 20mm basing.

2. 6mm Fantasy/Ancients/Medieval on 40mm x 20mm bases
Rules: Warrior Heroes, Rally Round the King, Warmaster Ancients, Impetus.
We already have a selection of armies painted and based like this for our Talomir Tales campaign which currently uses Warrior Heroes for the massed battles and will upgrade to Rally Round the King at the end of the current campaign year. The campaign is on hold while we finish the Towton project, but I plan to add Vikings, Amazons and Elves (all Baccus 6mm) to it when time permits. I also have a painted WMA Hoplite Greek army, which will see use in Talomir Tales, and I could expand some of the Talomir Tales armies for WMA too. As a further option, there is nothing to stop us using these armies with Impetus either, which will expand the range of armies available to us.

3. 28mm Fantasy skirmish on individual bases
Rules: Warrior Heroes: Armies and Adventures, Broadsword Adventures, Montjoie, Retinue.
Talomir Tales uses a variety of 28mm fantasy, ancients and medieval figures for the skirmish element. Combining the massed battles as background with skirmish games enables some great storytelling and allows us to have heroes that get involved in the events in the wider world rather than just having small adventures that focus solely on them. We already have a selection of painted figures for a small number of nations. I really need to paint more of the figures I have for this, so this must be on the list. We are both interested in playing Broadsword Adventures too. It requries very few figures and suits our schedules well, so we plan to play BA at some point soonish. Retinue is an old favourite of mine from back in the eighties. I might inveigle Steve into playing an occasional game just to feed my nostalgia. Montjoie is a game I am interested in trying because it allows for your character to start small and eventually command whole armies. As an alternative, I might transpose the advancement system from Montjoie into WHAA, because that would save learning a whole new rules set. WHAA would cope well with purely historical battles too.

4. 15mm science fiction on individual bases
Rules: 5150, Laserburn, Imperial Commander, Stargrunt II, Striker, Striker II.
I have had vast numbers of 15mm science fiction figures since the eighties, when I got into Laserburn and Imperial Commander. Some of them are even painted! We are planning to play a small campaign using the 5150 supplement 'First Contact'. The Bwendi will take the role of Earth Force, with the Albion Defence Force (Steve's mob) taking the role of Gaea Prime. Steve also has Sahadeen from Rebel Minis for this one. I shall need to rewrite the background slightly for this on the grounds that the official background winds me up a bit and the Bwendi cannot be seen as the bad guys. In every campaign I have ever used them in from their first incarnation as a fantasy army in a play-by-mail game back in the late eighties, they have been the good guys and this must not change. It should be easy enough to intersperse this campaign with Laserburn and Imperial Commander games. As for the other rules, well, they may well have to wait. I have a real yen to play Striker II, because it derives from my favourite WW2 rules set, Command Decision, but I am not sure if I can be bothered learning new rules at the moment. If we did play it, then the plan would be to either just put a couple of figures together and call them a stand, or use sabot bases, because Striker uses element bases rather than individual figures. Another option with these figures is to use them for a variety of post-apocalypse games. Steve is keen to play a 1980s post-apocalypse game and a lot of my less military figures would suit that.

5. 6mm 18th century on 60mm x 30mm bases
Rules: Polemos: Great Northern War, Volley and Bayonet: Road to Glory.
I already have two large armies for the GNW painted and based. I also have a small Saxon GNW army and a small Prussian SYW army. I would like to expand these latter and have a fair few figures for them awaiting the attention of my brush. I would also like to expand the Saxons into a full army for Kliszow by increasing the Saxon army size and painting the Polish army that I have, while the plan for the Seven Years War is to put together a Prussian army for Lobositz. The place of the Austrians in that battle will be taken by one of my other armies to save on painting. I know that Steve has a Russian GNW army to paint too, so I should encourage him to do that by playing games using my armies! Another consideration here is that I have a couple of campaign systems that I rather like the look of and it would be great to play some kind of imagi-nation 18th century campaign. Options could include running the campaign by email so that we can expand our player pool or just running our own armies and having a system for controlling non-player armies. Anyway, these plans aside, this period has the massive advantage that I should not need to buy any new figures for it.

6. 6mm World War Two on element bases
Rules: Command Decision: Test of Battle, PBI 2, Blitzkrieg Commander.
I have medium-sized British, Italian and DAK forces for the Western Desert in 1941 all designed for an Operation Brevity campaign that I have never yet run because each time I return to it I find new evidence that invalidates my previous research. I need to put a stop to doing research, finish basing these figures and start playing games instead. One thing I need to do with the DAK and Italian armies is add some more infantry to them for generic battles. As they stand, they are well-suited to the one campaign, but the basic army generation systems in all the rules sets proposed require more ordinary infantry than I currently have painted. Therefore, the project will be to add a couple of battalions of infantry to the DAK and Italian forces so that we can use the Test of Battle system in Command Decision and play the other two rules as written. With that done, I might well get around to expanding these armies further by painting more of the stuff I still have tucked away in the attic for them. It also occurs to me that I could use these armies with FutureWarCommander quite easily and so they will permit me to field my Bwendi 6mm army without deviating from plan! Cunning, eh?

So, that seems to be the main focus that I wish to aim for. I'm not sure how happy Steve will be with some of the rules choices. I suspect that Command Decision may be a bit too techy for him, but he will no doubt read this and tell me I am talking bollocks as usual. The next step will be for Steve to come up with his wish list and then we can agree a programme that will see our lead mountains turn to lead molehills ... ooh, was that an airborne pig that just flew past?


  1. ....and the devil skating to work but if it gets more gaming in that's a good thing.

  2. Well, it's how this blog started until that evil purveyor of miniature masterpieces, Mr Baccus 6mm, whispered into my ear about producing a Towton game. It is easy to remain focused one month at a time and thus to complete usable elements of projects. Of course, if I stopped reading wargames blogs and wargames-related news, it might be a heck of a lot easier still. Discussion with my bud, Steve, has also indicated that a rolling programme might be in order. As one project finishes another can be added to the end of the list. It might be a repeat project or a new one from the lead pile, but it could well be the way to go.

  3. Face it Ruarigh, you and Steve have the same problem as Herrodadog and myself. Your hopelessly sick! But if your having fun, its ok!
    We have the big Napoleonic project ongoing but get our fixes for myriads of different periods with skirmish gaming. I think that is the ticket. Simple rules, not too many figs, no burn out.

  4. Yup, too many interests, not enough time to go around. Sounds about right. Skirmish gaming is a great way to get multiple fixes, especially if you do it in 6mm, which is very quick and easy to paint, and I really would like to do more like that, but first I need someone to produce a Three Musketeers 6mm set complete with all the main characters, numerous extras and a variety of additional figures for tavern and wash room scenes.

    Hello, my name is Ruarigh and I am a wargamer ...

  5. Oh please, don't tel me about lack of focus :)